Divorce at Altitude: A Podcast on Colorado Family Law

Experts Involved in a Custody Battle | Episode 46

August 16, 2021 Ryan Kalamaya & Amy Goscha Season 1 Episode 46
Divorce at Altitude: A Podcast on Colorado Family Law
Experts Involved in a Custody Battle | Episode 46
Show Notes Transcript

Ryan Kalamaya explains different experts or expert witnesses that can be involved in a custody battle.

Step by Step Colorado Divorce Guide

The initial thought of trying to file for divorce can be overwhelming and emotionally exhausting. 

Ryan Kalamaya, one of the founding partners of innovative law firm Kalamaya | Goscha, has created a simple, step by step guide to the Colorado divorce process, so you know what to expect and how to best protect yourself and your assets.  

Each 5-minute episode will cover the process for divorce, parenting in a divorce, property division, and more. To watch the videos of each episode, click here.

About Kalamaya | Goscha

Kalamaya | Goscha is an innovative law firm with an award-winning team of trial lawyers specializing in highly personal disputes — divorce, child custody, property division, maintenance/alimony, pre-marital and marital agreements, and collaborative divorce — in Colorado. If you have additional questions or would like to speak to one of our attorneys, give us a call at 970-429-5784 or email us at [email protected].

Ryan Kalamaya (1s):
Welcome to divorce at altitude, a podcast on Colorado family law. I'm Ryan Kalamaya each week, along with my business partner and cohost Amy Goscha or an expert, we discuss a particular topic related divorce, or co-parenting in Colorado. In addition, we have created a short series of lessons that will take you through the legal process of divorce and answer your questions from simple to complex divorce. Isn't easy. The end of a marriage, especially when children are involved, brings a great deal of loss and change. We hope these practical tips and insights will help you on your journey to a new and better life growing through A divorce or an allocation on parental responsibilities.

Ryan Kalamaya (47s):
Action, and you and the other parent are just not going to come to an agreement with respect to your children. What are your options? In this episode, I'm going to give it in broad strokes. What professional's or options there AR when you are in a high conflict or what is otherwise known as a custody battle. Now it's helpful to understand that these professionals can be split into two different groupings. Generally, the first is in the forensic or evaluation Mo they go in to make recommendations on what should or should not happen. And we'll get into that. But the second option or the second grouping a professionals are in the guise of dispute resolution. So the first forensics, if you can't agree on the best interest of the children with your significant other or the other parent, then you can ask the court to a point what's called a child and family investigator.

Ryan Kalamaya (1m 38s):
These are known as CFIs now by law. They are there. Fees are capped $2,750. As of the time of this recording, many CFS will ask for some sort of exception or that cap to be lifted and they go in and they will evaluate you. And the other parent they'll talk with the children if appropriate, they will come and watch you a parent watch the other parent parent, and they will issue a report to the court and make recommendations for decision making it at issue does a parenting time so that the custody schedule in other things is relevant to the children, the best inches of the children. Now they buy a statute, they are not supposed to produce or perform evaluations with respect to psychological evaluations.

Ryan Kalamaya (2m 25s):
We'll get into that next, but that's CFIs are certainly a common method to have some sort of evaluation and a written report done with custody issues. The second is a little bit of a step up and that's a parental responsibilities evaluator, a pre think of a pre as a CFO with kind of some plus factors. They usually have several more letters behind their name. So they might be a light they're supposed to be a licensed psychologist I'm or a licensed mental health professional. They are usually allowed to do mental health evaluations, and that would be psychological evaluations, the Minnesota, multiple personality index MMPI, and other kinds of mental health or psychological evaluations.

Ryan Kalamaya (3m 9s):
You can also, and this falls within the same grouping. You can ask the court too, for a parent to be psychologically evaluated. If you believe that they are bipolar or have some sort of narcissistic personality disorder. So I'm sort of a personality disorder. You could have them evaluated or asked the court rather to have them evaluated. And now it would be done by a mental health professional, normally a psychologist or a psychiatrist. Now, when you ask for that mental health professional to do the psychological evaluation, if it's not a Pirie, then the mental health professional is not going to be able to issue some sort of recommendation as to parenting time.

Ryan Kalamaya (3m 50s):
What they can do is say this parent does or does not have some sort of disorder or a personality issue that could impact on parenting. But in, in, in the same realm, you also have some sort of CAC, which is a certified addiction counselor, who does an analysis of whether or not a parent does or does not have some sort of alcohol issue or a problem with drugs, but that CAC, that counselor cannot make recommendation on a parenting time, the Pirie and the CFI can't. So what else do you have within the evaluation grouping? You can ask the court to have an interview with the child.

Ryan Kalamaya (4m 30s):
It's fairly uncommon. It, it varies depending on the jurisdiction and the age of the child. You can also, and this is a little bit outside or in the gray area of evaluation, but you can also ask for a child legal representative that it is pursuant to CRS 14, 10, 1 16. It must be an attorney. And essentially it is in an attorney for the children. This obviously can get into very expensive territory in the attorney will advocate on behalf of the children. They can't be a witness, but they can appear at any sort of trial in if they are appointed. And there was a hearing now let's move on to dispute resolution. In these grouping of professionals, you have a parenting coordinator, you also have a decision maker.

Ryan Kalamaya (5m 12s):
Most parenting coordinators require or asked to be appointed as decision-makers think, have a parenting coordinator as a, essentially a mediator. And then you also have a decision maker and that is essentially an arbitrator. So we frequently refer to these as PCMs. It's noteworthy that the court can appoint a parenting coordinator, but the court cannot appoint a decision maker unless both parties agree in the, a rationale behind that is that the decision maker is going to be making decisions that parents can agree that they can make decisions. And you need to define the scope of what those decisions are. It can be parenting time, or it could be decisions where a child goes to school, whether or not they played tackle football or some sort of extracurricular activity.

Ryan Kalamaya (5m 56s):
And you have to really define what exactly the PCD M does once the PC DM, if the PC essentially says, you know, you guys can't work this out together, then I'm going to make the decision. Once they do its a binding decision, which can be appealed by the party, assuming the losing party too, the district court, and there can be some fee shifting. There can be a whole bunch of different issues within PCD amps, but that is common dispute resolution. There was a judicial form on a Colorado state website regarding the PCs and DMS are, you also have a, a special master that is a third dispute resolution mechanism. You can have a special master. It could be a former judge.

Ryan Kalamaya (6m 36s):
It could be a mediator. It can be an attorney and it can involve things, particularly in such as discovery disputes related to parenting. But you could also have a special master interview, a variety of different professionals, not make recommendations, but just basically pass through and be a Scrivener or a scribe for the court. There's a whole bunch of different things, but you can do with a special master. Again, costs are a concern and it depends on what exactly you are hoping to obtain. Then you also have an arbitration or an arbiter. And so you could with the agreement of the other party, agreed to defer or have somebody else be the arbitrator and you issue a ruling relating to a parenting time.

Ryan Kalamaya (7m 18s):
The reason that you would do this as because normally the arbitrators are going to be faster. So if there's a dispute over a trip to Europe or some, you know, school issue, the arbitrator can make a ruling very quickly. And again, there's some costs, issue, costs involved with that, but that's certainly an option. The final, you know, option within dispute resolution is to ask for the appointment of, or private judge, there is various episodes or other references on this podcast for us, the altitude to the private judge, but that is certainly an option. And if you want to find out more, look forward to more episodes digging into each one of these issues. And you ask an attorney about some of these, if you are involved in a high conflict custody battle until next time I'm Ryan Kalamaya.

Ryan Kalamaya (8m 3s):
Thanks for watching. Thanks for listening or watching this short lesson on the Divorce at Altitude podcast. If you found this helpful, please leave a review or to share with a friend. It does help for others that are going through or thinking about a divorce in Colorado. If you want to find out more information, please visit Kalamaya a law or Divorce at Altitude dot com. That's K a L a M a Y a t.law. Or remember, this is the educational information is not intended to be a legal advice. Please consult with an attorney about particulars of your case or having to answer questions. Feel free to give us a call at nine seven oh three one five to 3 6, 5.