Child and Family Investigators are tools used by the Court and parties to help determine parental right and responsibilities in family law cases. Commonly referred to as a CFI, they are usually used in extreme cases where there are allegations of abuse and mistreatment by one or more parents. The court can appoint a CFI on its own if there are allegations of abuse by one party or either party may ask for a CFI if they believe one is necessary. CFI's are commonly attorneys, mental health professionals, or any other individual who is trained and the Court believes is able to be an effective CFI.
Mediation is now required in family law cases to help parties resolve their disputes without the governing hand of the Court. Mediation involves a neutral third party that hears both sides of the case and can advise parties outside of the courtroom. Attorneys are not necessarily required, but they are still recommended. The idea behind mediation is to let the parties have more control over the decisions that will affect the outcome of their cases and to save the parties time and money. The parties know their situations much better than a Judge and results are usually more tailored to each party's needs and wants. However, in many cases mediation is not taken seriously and viewed as a required evil with no real positive impact. Mediation should be taken seriously though, as it is always better for the parties to come to a mutual decision than having the hand of the Court decide. Here are some benefits of taking mediation seriously:
Determining Parental Rights and Responsibilities is never easy and can be a stressful time for a family going through a dissolution of marriage. It is important to remember that the best interests of the children always come first and the courts are always putting the children's well-being ahead of the parents. Here are three tips on how to make the process run smoother.