One of the family court industry’s own is upset with the lack of ethics and accountability by some attorneys, family court appointees and the bench when it comes to domestic court cases. An attorney wrote an editorial regarding the issues in a recent Colorado Bar Assn. Family Law Section newsletter. PLEASE try not to use anyone who is a member of the Colorado Association of Family and Conciliatory
Courts (COAFCC).

Attend the court self-help sessions. They will probably be much more beneficial and less stressful on your family in such an emotional time. Avoid any of the so called “help” groups such as the Early Neutral Assessment people. This is just another one of Robert Smith and others way to keep the money coming in in my opinion. There is another such group started in Douglas County. My guess is they lack accountability and ethics as well. Jefferson County has a mediator and mental health person who have hooked up and are charging for an “information” session. The mental health person is terrible in my opinion. I would avoid this option as well.

If you have been in an abusive relationship and are trying to get out, make sure you read and reread the statutes and by all means avoid being coerced into using any of the family court helpers such as a parent coordinator (PC), decision-maker (DM) or parent responsibility evaluator (PRE). Individuals in these roles can be very biased when it comes to any type of abuse. And there is no mandatory standardized training around the abuse issues in Colorado for individuals serving in these roles or those serving on the bench. If you are not indigent they may simply be looking at you as their “cash cow”.

If you feel you have to use a court appointee, use a Child and Family Investigator (CFI). There is a cap on what the CFI can charge and they are held to a higher standard of accountability than any of the other roles. It will be up to you to be very specific as to what you want investigated. Otherwise it won’t get done and your report probably won’t meet your needs. If you use any court appointee make sure you get a disclosure statement. They are required by Colorado Statutes to do so. The ad hoc groups such as the Early Neutral Assessment groups and others mentioned above do not have to as these specific groups or roles are not in statute. They are just “loosey goosey” groups started by individuals. This is another reason to not be coerced into using them.

But the best thing to do is to in my opinion is avoid using the Colorado courts for your divorce process.