Do I Need a Child and Family Investigator for my Divorce or Separation?

In short – it depends.

A CFI is useful for determining what  parenting regime is best for your children in the event you and the other parent cannot agree. Navigating the complexities of APR during a dissolution or marriage or separation can be emotionally and legally challenging for all parties involved. In the state of Colorado, the legal system has established a process for appointment of a CFI to ensure the best interests of children are prioritized in disputes among parents. The rules relating to APRs and a CFI are found in Colorado Revised Statute (C.R.S.) Section 14-10-101, et seq. This post discusses the role, responsibilities, qualifications, and significance of a CFI in the state of Colorado.

Understanding the Role of a CFI

CFIs are neutral third-parties appointed by a court to assist in fact-finding for determining what is in the best interest of a child in an APR. CFIs provide the judge with relevant information and recommendations that contribute to decisions about parental responsibilities, parenting time, and decision-making authority.

Responsibilities of a CFI

a. Investigation: A CFI conducts an investigation by gathering information from parents, children, schools, medical professionals, and any other relevant parties including, but not limited to, grand-parents, other family members, therapists and social workers. The CFI should then be able to provide the judge a comprehensive analysis of the child’s living environment, relationships, and needs.

b. Interviews and Observations: CFIs often conduct interviews with a child and the child’s parents. These interviews may be conducted individually or together, depending on the situation. CFIs might choose to observe interactions between a child and each parent to assess their parenting styles and the child’s comfort level, too.

c. Review of Records: CFIs can, with some limitations, review records related to the children, including school records and medical records.

d. Report and Recommendations: The CFI prepares a detailed report that outlines their findings and recommendations based on the information gathered. This report is submitted to the court and is taken into consideration during a judge’s determination as to what is in a child’s best interest related to parenting time, parental responsibilities and decision making.

Qualifications and Training

To become a CFI in Colorado, individuals must meet specific qualifications outlined by C.R.S. 14-10-116.5. These qualifications typically include a background in law, mental health, social work, or a related field. CFIs must also undergo specialized training to develop the necessary skills to assess the best interests of children involved in familial disputes.

A CFI’s Significance

CFIs ensure the court has a comprehensive understanding of the child’s needs, circumstances, and relationships. CFIs contribute to more informed decisions regarding parental responsibilities allocations, parenting time arrangements, and decision-making authority. Their input aims to minimize the emotional toll on children and parents while prioritizing the child’s well-being. A CFI’s report can also aid parties in resolving disputes involving children through mediation because a judge is likely going to follow the CFI’s recommendation at a permanent orders hearing. Meaning, if a CFI has rendered a report, the parties have a better understanding of what a judge will do at permanent orders and can work to determine what is best for their family without judicial intervention.

Conclusion

CFIs conduct thorough investigations, provide unbiased recommendations, and focuson the best interests of the child through their analysis. This process can be beneficial not only to children, but parents engaged in time consuming and expensive litigation.

If you are going through a dispute with the other parent of your child, contact Cribbet & French, LLC to discuss your options moving forward. We have good working relationships with CFIs in Colorado’s High Rockies and the Front Range.

Understanding the Impact of the Corporate Transparency Act on Real Estate

Introduction: In an era of increasing globalization and intricate financial transactions, the real estate market has often found itself entangled with opaque ownership structures, making it difficult to identify the actual individuals behind corporate entities. This issue not only poses challenges for law enforcement agencies but also affects the transparency and integrity of the real estate industry. To address these concerns, the United States introduced the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA), which aims to shed light on the ownership of entities involved in real estate transactions. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the key aspects of the Corporate Transparency Act and its impact on the real estate sector.

What is the Corporate Transparency Act? The Corporate Transparency Act, enacted as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, represents a significant step toward enhancing transparency in financial transactions. Its primary goal is to prevent money laundering, tax evasion, and other illicit activities by requiring certain corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) to disclose their beneficial ownership information to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Key Provisions of the Corporate Transparency Act:

  1. Reporting Requirement: The CTA mandates that corporations and LLCs registered or operating in the United States must report the identities of their beneficial owners to FinCEN upon formation and submit updates to this information as changes occur.
  2. Beneficial Ownership Information: Beneficial owners are individuals who directly or indirectly own 25% or more of the equity interests in a corporation or LLC. The reported information includes their full legal name, date of birth, address, and a unique identifying number such as a driver’s license or passport number.
  3. FinCEN Database: The collected beneficial ownership information is maintained in a secure database accessible to law enforcement agencies, helping them to trace and track down individuals engaging in financial crimes.

Impact on the Real Estate Industry: The real estate sector has historically been susceptible to money laundering and illicit transactions due to its large transaction amounts and potential anonymity provided by complex ownership structures. The Corporate Transparency Act has several implications for the real estate industry:

  1. Enhanced Due Diligence: Real estate professionals, including brokers, agents, and lenders, will need to conduct more thorough due diligence when dealing with corporations and LLCs. They must verify the reported beneficial ownership information to ensure compliance and prevent involvement in potentially illegal activities.
  2. Improved Market Integrity: By increasing transparency, the CTA contributes to a more trustworthy and accountable real estate market. This transparency can attract more investors, bolster market confidence, and potentially lead to more stable property values.
  3. Foreign Investment Scrutiny: The CTA’s reporting requirements extend to foreign-owned entities engaged in real estate transactions within the U.S. This provision helps regulators monitor and assess potential risks associated with foreign investments, particularly those originating from high-risk jurisdictions.
  4. Regulatory Challenges: While the CTA brings positive changes, its implementation also presents challenges. Real estate professionals must navigate new compliance requirements, and regulators need to ensure the collected data is appropriately safeguarded to prevent misuse.

Conclusion: The Corporate Transparency Act represents a significant step toward creating a more transparent and accountable real estate market. By requiring corporations and LLCs to disclose their beneficial ownership information, the Act aims to curb money laundering, tax evasion, and other financial crimes. While the real estate industry may face initial challenges in adapting to the new regulations, the long-term benefits of increased transparency and improved market integrity are likely to outweigh the challenges. As the Act’s provisions take effect, stakeholders in the real estate sector must remain vigilant, embracing these changes as a means to foster a more secure and prosperous industry.

If you own real estate help by a corporation or limited liability company, contact Cribbet & French, LLC to discuss your options and disclosure requirments.