In contested parenting cases which are either higher-conflict, or involve deeper issues (an unfit parent, relocation, parental alienation, domestic violence, etc), the Colorado domestic relations court may appoint an expert to assist.
The expert may be intended to assist the parties - such as a parenting coordinator to help resolve disputes, or a decision-maker to actually decide contested issues. Or the experts could be intended to assist the Court in reaching a decision by investigating issues and making recommendations - such as a child & family investigator or a parental responsibilities evaluator.
In most cases, one of the lawyers will request the appointment of an expert, or the parties will agree to have one appointed. Less commonly, the Court will decide on its own to appoint an expert without being asked.
Typically, when the parents agree on a professional, the fees are divided proportional to incomes. When one party files a motion seeking the appointment of one, the Court may allocate the fees to that party initially (subject to reallocation at the actual hearing), or divide the fees between the parties.
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