Avoid the Colorado family courts. They have a new role with no standardized training, no specialized training and no accountability--early neutral assessment. Avoid this and other Colorado processes that will use your family as guinea pigs.
No specialized training for PRE’s or CFI’s. There have been repeated recommendations from professionals and judges and magistrates for the need for specialized training for appointees. One day 2012 COAFCC sponsored training, presenter pointed to these and other deficiencies with the Colorado PRE statute. A mental health degree does not make one an expert in the abuse issues.
It is very hard to identify emotional abuse. There is a preponderance of evidence threshold that must be met when working in Child Protective Services.
A number of tools to assess for abuse have been developed and are reported to be reliable. These are not being used in Colorado.
One may be able to determine the number of appointments a professional has had but the reports are sealed and not available to the public for inspection.
Several parents reported the family court parenting time process has been over $200,000 cost. One parent reported over half of the lump sum child support received went to paying attorney fees versus being available to support the children.
No standardized reporting outline or criteria for PRE’s
There is a list of qualified CFI’s on the SCAO web site. There is no such list for PRE’s. Bench or attorneys select PRE not parent. The PRE appointee has little accountability versus the CFI.
Attorney reported there is a 50/50 chance that the court or court appointee will acknowledge and recognize the abuse (physical, emotional, sexual, drug or alcohol) and use this to guide parenting time recommendations
PRE is allowed to selectively report data collected—can bias report based on the highest bidding parent versus the best interest
Report that PRE’s use the same report for multiple parents. Simply add a new set of names to the report.
Repeated reports of PRE’s, CFI’s, decision-makers and parent coordinators fail to report or acknowledge documented abuse of children or parent.
Reports of PRE’s accepting bribes from one parent or the other
CFI reported felt some parents needed the system for protection but didn’t necessarily get the protection and others used abuse as a tool to manipulate the outcome
Abusive or narcissist parent court ordered to do play therapy or supervised visitation but doesn’t do it. The parent is in contempt of court orders. The parent is not held accountable. It happens repeatedly. No consequences.
Both fathers and mothers reported having no parenting time over several years due to misinformation and poor handling or manipulation of court case by court appointees. No repercussions for court appointees or the bench.
DORA is not effective in handling complaints against PRE’s or CFI’s. Training of DORA staff on court appointee issues is completed by those working in the industry as court appointees.
DORA routinely dismisses cases. Over half of DORA’s complaints are against court appointees, yet nothing is done to standardize reporting, specialized training or follow-up in an effort to reduce complaints, protect children and improve the system.
Some attorneys recommend not mentioning the abuse because of the biases of some of those on the bench and the mishandling of cases by court appointed CFI’s and PRE’s.
There is no research showing that the court appointee process in parenting time disputes is effective.
There is no follow-up on the outcomes for children.