Parental Responsibilities Evaluator/Child & Family Investigator
A PRE or CFI becomes involved in a case when a parenting time dispute cannot be resolved except by the Honorable Court’s intervention. Dr. Kilmer has performed over 600 evaluations for the state of Colorado. The purpose of this court-appointed individual is to investigate the parenting roles and make recommendations based on the safety and best interests of the children. The PRE/CFI evaluates the circumstances, typically through a series of interviews and other methods of investigating relevant capabilities and records of the parents and the children.
Because of the importance of this evaluation, it is imperative that this court-appointed individual be qualified to perform a detailed evaluation of the situation. Dr. Kilmer will conduct a comprehensive investigation which may include home visits and assessments, psychodiagnostics testing, individual and family meetings and interviews as well as other information gathering to create an impartial, objective and comprehensive report.
Consultations Services for Professionals/Work Product Reviews
As a part of his forensic services, Dr. Kilmer provides pretrial consultation, case file review and expert testimony in family law matters to attorneys and other mental health professionals. Dr. Kilmer also conducts Work Product Reviews (“WPR”) of PRE and CFI reports prepared by other evaluators. All WPRs include the prioritized consideration regarding the safety and best interests of the minor children involved.
Dr. Kilmer maintains an ethical obligation to provide an impartial and unbiased review of the case file during his WPR.
Dr. Kilmer only accepts WPRs if it appears that the PRE/CFI needs review and analysis. Not because his review is requested. WPRs are assessments of investigations. The methodology used or not used; the expertise and competence of the written report; the ethical conduct exhibited; and the compliance with Court orders and existing statutes, are part of what is considered and reviewed. WPRs can include a comprehensive written report, verbal feedback and consultation with legal counsel, trial preparation, and expert witness testimony.
Consultation Services for Parents
Expert preparation is essential for a process so profoundly important for you and your family. A process that hopefully will only happen once in your lifetime. PREs are complex and involved; getting ready to engage effectively increases your chances of ensuring you’re well prepared and the evaluator will understand your children’s needs.
Most parents have never been through this process before and understanding what a typical evaluation entails can help alleviate anxiety. Dr. Kilmer can help prepare you for every step of the process. There is no “typical” evaluation as every family has unique circumstances, but as a general guideline:
- Evaluators will typically send out an intake packet for you to complete. It may include questionnaires to send out to other professionals such as teachers, therapists or other individuals who have relevant information for consideration.
- Most evaluators conduct interviews with parents individually and other family members depending upon ages.
- Evaluators also observe parent-child interactions, which may occur in the office or in your residence.
- Collateral interviews of professionals who interact with the children or parents may occur.
- At the conclusion of the investigation, evaluators submit a report to the Court outlining their recommendations.
Preparing for Interviews
Understanding how to prepare for a parent evaluation is critically important. It’s more than just making a good first impression, it’s understanding what you should highlight during your interviews with your evaluator. Prior to your initial appointment and throughout the evaluation, Dr. Kilmer can assist with ensuring your message remains focused on the children’s safety and best interests.
What documents are helpful for evaluators to consider? How do you ensure it’s presented in a manner that is easy to navigate, thorough and well documented? If you have documentation that supports your position you should gather this early on in the process. It could be copies of emails, text messages, phone records, social media posts, photographs, voice mails etc., but remember, if you overwhelm an evaluator with too much information, or present it in a disorganized manner, an evaluator may miss important details. Preparing this documentation is both time-consuming and stressful. Dr. Kilmer specializes in working with parents to sort through and assemble their information to ensure this information is presented in the most effective way possible.
Parent Coordinator Decision Maker
In high-conflict separations or divorces, issues regarding parenting occur more frequently and often require visits back and forth to court to resolve these disputes. As an alternative, a Parenting Coordinator Decision Maker (“PCDM”) can help resolve issues without the financial and emotional toll of repeated return trips to court.
When Dr. Kilmer is requested to act as a PCDM, either through Court order or in your parenting plan, he will support you in resolving parenting disputes between the parents/parties. Dr. Kilmer has extensive experience working with children and families in high-conflict situations and strives to provide unbiased determinations that consider the safety and best-interests of the children.
Family mediation in separation and divorce is a process in which a specially trained third party is requested by the parties to help them deal with the re-ordering of their arrangements following their separation. Dr. Kilmer specialized mediation training facilitates couples to re-establish communication to assist them in accomplishing concrete decisions in relation to their post-separation parenting and financial arrangements. Family mediation in separation and divorce should be distinguished from legal advice and from marital counselling and therapy. Mediators may suggest referral to other sources of professional help (counsellors, social workers, lawyers) whenever this may be needed.