Who Pays The CFI?
Payment for the services of the Child and Family Investigators comes from one or both of the parties. Courts may order the parties to share the expense equally, but not always. The financial circumstances of the parties often come into play in allocating this cost. CFI expenses are capped at $2,000, unless agreed by the parties, or ordered by the judge.
A CFI will conduct an investigation of relevant information about the children and the families involved. This often includes meeting with each parent, the children, and others directly involved in the day-to-day lives of the children. The identity and number of people interviewed are at the discretion of the CFI unless ordered by the judge. Parties do not get to dictate how the CFI conducts his or her investigation.
At the conclusion of the investigation, which may take several months, the Child and Family Investigators prepare a written report for the court containing the specifics of their investigation, a listing of the statutory factors considered, and their recommendations for parenting time and decision-making. Each CFI does their report, and investigations, differently and customizes them to the facts of each case, so it’s difficult to predict the type of information a report might contain. Both parties get copies of the CFI’s report.