By: Jessica A. Saldin
Whenever there are custody issues in your family law case, one question to always consider is whether a CFI or PRE would help your case. Prior blog posts have explained what these individuals are and when they may be helpful. Once they are appointed to the case, though, it is natural to question what to expect after that appointment.
The very first step is to make sure the expert is made aware of their appointment- you need to make sure that someone sends the order of appointment to the expert. The court does not typically do this, so either you or the other party need to email the order over to the expert to make sure they are aware of the appointment. With the order, the expert also typically likes to receive any pleadings related to parenting time or the relevant issues (i.e., any prior orders, parenting plans, agreements, motions, responses, replies, etc.).
Within seven days of their appointment, these individuals must disclose whether they have any familial, financial or social relationships with any of the parties to the case, the attorneys on the case or the judicial officers on the case. Once you receive this disclosure, if the Child and Family Investigator or Parental Responsibilities Evaluator has disclosed any type of relationship, you have seven days to object to that expert on the basis of the information in the disclosure. If you do not object within seven days you have waived your ability to object to their appointment on the basis of that information. If you do object, the court will then decide if someone else should be appointed or if the information does not rise to the level of needing to remove the expert. Continue reading