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If you find yourself and your children in the middle of a high conflict custody battle in Colorado, a court ordered Parental Responsibilities Evaluator (PRE) may be appointed. The objective of a parental responsibilities evaluation is to assess one’s parental responsibilities and conduct a thorough evaluation for custody purposes. This can ultimately determine how parental rights are distributed, in regards to a custody case. Typically, mental health professionals who are properly licensed and experienced in their field are appointed to conduct such assessments. Furthermore, they must be trained extensively in a field of or relating to childhood development and developmental psychology. The role of such a professional is a critical tool, when determining the course of action to take in a custody case.

The full PRE process is a relatively lengthy and complex one. Such an evaluation can take months to complete and it requires a profoundly detailed and long term assessment of a child’s environment. A PRE many obtain additional information about a parent’s competency by consulting anyone who can provide relevant data.

During the assessment process, the PRE will observe a parent-child relationship, and screen for any potential abnormalities, conflicts, or threats. The evaluator will conduct interviews with both parents, the child/children, other persons deemed necessary by the PRE. In addition the PRE will conduct a home visit at both parents home, as well as a observed playtime with a parent and child. The controlled playtime is monitored by the PRE from outside the room and can last about an hour or so.

The PRE will prepare a lengthy report on all of his/her finding and offer recommendations to decision making and parenting time.

In some cases, the PRE report may be contested by one of the parties. In such instances, one may demand a supplemental parental responsibilities evaluation. This motion, however, may be denied if specific conditions apply. In some cases, such evaluations may be utilized in order to delay procedures.

The cost of a PRE can be very expensive. PRE evaluations can go much over $10,000. The cost can be allocated to be paid by both parents equally, solely by one party or in some other way. The PRE cost is typically due upfront, as a retainer, and it is paid directly to the company conducting the evaluation.

Having to use a parental responsibilities evaluator in your custody case can complicate and lengthen your custody case. It is advisable to consult an attorney that is knowledgeable and experienced about the process and can help you avoid costly mistakes and to protect your and your children.

The content of this page is for general informational purposes only, and should not be considered advice in your case.