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Social distancing and CFI investigations

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2020 | Child Custody, Firm News

Partners Erika Gebhardt and Meagan Moodie are trained as CFI’s and currently accepting appointments from the Court. Partner Erika Gebhardt discusses conducting CFI investigations during this time of quarantine and social distancing and how her access to technology enables her to continue to serve the families of Colorado without interruption during this Q and A session.

Question: Are you currently doing any CFI work?

Answer: Yes, I am still actively working on my current CFI cases and am taking new CFI appointments each day.

Q: Is the current social-distancing recommendation impacting your ability to complete CFI investigations?

A: Yes, the social-distancing recommendations, which are being strictly adhered to by each of GEM’s attorneys, including myself, are impacting my ability to conduct in-person interviews and home visits. Luckily, at GEM we have technological capabilities that enable me to overcome these challenges, including being able to do video interviews, and even home visits, if that becomes necessary due to a significant period of social-distancing. GEM has always been a semi-paperless and fully electronic office, therefore, the social-distancing recommendations have not impacted our document transmission or retention in any signficant capacity.

Q: How are you able to communicate with children who are the subject of the parenting time disputes?

A: Children are often better at technology than their parents and frequently have their own communication devices, such as phones or tablets. Therefore, arrangements can certainly be made to interview children electronically. If the case really requires in-person child interviews, the child interviews could be left for the same time as the in-person home visits.

Q: Any words of advice for people who are in the midst of a CFI investigation right now but have been impacted by the current global health crisis either directly or indirectly?

A: Social distancing is no reason to delay working towards resolution in your family law matter. If the circumstances of the investigation allow, and the parties and counsel do not have a problem with an adapted process, a full CFI investigation can be conducted virtually! If your family is going through a child-related dispute that requires an expert be appointed, there is no reason to delay the investigation because of the social-distancing recommendations. We have the ability to conduct a thorough investigation without risking the safety of your family or our staff. Even if parties or counsel believe that the case requires an in-person home visit in order for me to get a full and clear picture of the family dynamic, the rest of the investigation can be completed during the quarantine. This would leave just the home visit and report to be written after the restrictions and recommendations are lifted.

While the current health crisis has certainly interrupted the normal routine of most families in Colorado, at GEM Family Law, our team continues to operate full force. Erika’s ongoing work as a CFI through virtual platforms is a prime example of how technology empowers us to adapt to these unusual times.