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    • This book is a must-read for parents contemplating divorce, those already in the divorce process and those who have a parenting plan in place. It gives parents important insight into the issues and real needs of children. Shannon has very important knowledge and wisdom to share with parents. I will recommend this book to all my clients who are dealing with parenting plan issues.
    • Albert V. Evans, Family Law Attorney since 1970
    • This book is a key practical tool for parents when life is in crisis. It will help to ensure that our unresolved issues start healing and do not dim the possibility of a joyful and creative life for our children. I truly thank you for gifting this book to the world.
    • Candice Bataille Popiel, coparent of a 7 and 8 year-old and co-author of Discovery of Glow
    • Shannon Rios' personal experience, research, and professional expertise offer compassion and respect to divorced and separated parents. If parents read The Fatal 7 Mistakes and apply all the practical tips this book offers, they will get along better with their parenting partners, heal from their divorce faster and help their children come through the divorce with their self-esteem intact. This book will help ensure families achieve emotional health despite these life-changing events.
    • Jody Johnston Pawel, author of the award-winning book The Parent's Toolshop: The Universal Blueprint for Building a Healthy Family
    • Shannon comes from personal experience and from the heart in her deep desire to help children of divorcing parents. Parents - read this book! You CAN move through the divorce process without injuring your children!
    • Margaret Paul, Ph.D., author/coauthor of "Healing Your Aloneness", Inner Bonding, "Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?", and Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God?.
    • As a mother of a 7 yr. old, going through a divorce, my main concern is the well-being of my child. This book was a godsend! It has helped me be the best mom for my son, while going through this difficult process."
    • Katy, mother of a 7 yr old.
    • This wonderful book should be required reading and writing for every divorced or never married parent. It also should be on the bookshelf of every mediator, counselor or attorney helping separated parents raise happier kids.
    • Dr. Shirley Thomas, Two Happy Homes: A Working Guide for Parents & Stepparents After Divorce and Remarriage and Parents are Forever: A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming Successful Coparents After Divorce
    • Don't let the word Fatal in the title scare you, when you look inside, you will find Shannon Rios's book to be one of the best parenting after divorce books ever written. She has understanding, compassion, and an uncanny understanding of what children � and parents � need. I have seen many divorce books during the past 25 years, and while they are all helpful in varying degrees, if every parent could read Shannon's book, most of the problem suffered by children as an outcome of their parents' divorce would be substantially eased. This book should be required reading in all divorce classes."
    • David L. Levy, Esq., President, Board of Trustees, Children's Rights Council
    • For the divorced or separated parent who wants to raise emotionally safe and secure children: this book could be exactly what you are looking for. This book was easy to read, yet practically applicable, capable of bringing out the subtle actions and words that parents, hurting from their own divorce experience, may not realize are inadvertently hurting their children.
    • David Meggitt, Manager, Colorado Children's Program Betty Ford Institute
    • Parents of separation, divorce and conflict will find this book an invaluable and treasured guide�it's filled with heart-felt, sage, and practical advice. Shannon Rios shows parents how to ask themselves and their children questions that optimize healing and growth, even during times of conflict and difficulty. Children whose parents read this book will be lucky indeed!"--
    • Marilee Adams, Ph.D. Author, Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work
    • Every so often someone comes along with the rare ability to see things differently and in doing so, changes our lives forever. Suddenly, issues that seemed so difficult to understand and actions that seemed too painful to take, begin to open up to an entirely new understanding that shifts our consciousness and heals our soul! It is this clarity of vision that Shannon Rios brings to her latest work. You owe it to yourself to read this powerful new book but more importantly, you owe it to your children.
    • Jeffrey Alan Hall, Author Speaker Teacher, www.jeffreyalenhall.com, A Course in Miracles
    • Divorced and divorcing parents and their children, regardless of age, will see themselves in this book. They will also recognize the author knows how easy it is to be ensnared in the traps she describes and how difficult it is to avoid them. She provides many prompts for improving self-awareness and exercises to aid management of tendencies harmful to children. Those able to follow at least some of her suggestions should be richly rewarded by improvement in the health and happiness of their children as well themselves.
    • Bonnie W. Camp, MD, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Pediatrics and Psychiatry University of Colorado School of Medicine

Child and Family Investigator

Shannon has completed specialized training in the areas that are important in CFI(child and family investigator) cases. Shannon uses her knowledge and skills to make recommendations in the best interest of the child.

What is a Child and Family Investigator (CFI)?

In cases involving allocation of parental responsibilities (including parenting time), a Colorado statute, C.R.S. §14-10 116.5, authorizes judges to appoint persons, such as or mental health professionals and lawyers to investigate the circumstances and make a report to the court concerning the best interests of the child. A Child and Family Investigator (formerly Special Advocate ) will ask the difficult questions to discern the key issues, while staying focused on the child.

When is it appropriate to appoint or to suggest a Child and Family Investigator?

Some judges appoint a CFI whenever an issue involving a child is contested in order to have the assurance that an objective, knowledgeable person investigates, makes recommendations, and suggests solutions to problems involving a child. Other judges appoint Child and Family Investigators only where one is requested by one or both parents, or when they deem a case to be “high conflict.”

How does the court choose a Child and Family Investigator?

Often judges ask the lawyers in a case for recommendations or they may appoint someone from their own list of qualified individuals. Pro se parties may also recommend particular individuals to the court.

How do Child and Family Investigators perform their tasks?

The below is a general overview of what usually happens in the CFI process.

  • Witnesses will be contacted
  • Quick scheduling for urgent situations.
  • Review of documents
  • Recommendations on evaluations or counseling services
  • A report is written
  • May appear in court for hearing

Who pays for the Child and Family Investigator?

Usually the parties divide the cost of the Child and Family Investigator according to the court’s order. Child and Family Investigators will expect some payment in advance and this is called a retainer.

I accept cases on a sliding scale basis, with hourly rates that vary between $95 and $125 per hour and up. If you are interested in having me appointed in your case, please provide me with accurate information for current income for both parties and I will quote an hourly rate to you.

Are Child and Family Investigators required to follow any standards?

Yes. A Chief Justice Directive, Special Advocate standards CJD 04-08, requires Child and Family Investigators to follow certain standards, including possessing the knowledge, expertise, and training necessary to perform the court appointment; obtaining and proving specified hours of the required continuing legal education or other required courses. In addition, Child and Family Investigators are required to abide by the rules of their various professions (law, social work, psychology, etc.)

What Makes Shannon an Excellent CFI?

Shannon is a marriage and family therapist that specializes her practice in the area of families of divorce, separation and conflict. She works with families just like yours every single day. She has written a highly acclaimed book on the topic of divorce, children, parenting and conflict. She is very knowledgeable of all issues related to children and families experiencing this type of situation. She knows of the appropriate therapies and strategies to recommend to families to ensure that parents can take the steps to be the best parent possible. She has a lot of knowledge of what types of recommendations will work for your children given your current family situation. She is a thorough investigator and makes her decisions in the best interest of the children. You can be assured that Shannon will feel confident that her recommendations will assist your child in their healthy growth and development.

Testimonial from CFI Client:

“I truly believe shannon’s recommendations will help my 16-year old daughter become a successful adult and help me to be a better parent”.
Mark, Father of a 16-year old

Please Call 303-720-6534 for further information.

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  • Be The Change

  • Let all of us, in our own unique way, recommit ourselves to the search for the pebbles of change that can be cast into the social pond. Let us create a divorce process that recycles divorce pain into new patterns of personal and familial growth which, in turn, will also strengthen our entire society. Let us protect our children from the unnecessary hazards of the divorce experience so that they, like their parents, can be strengthened by divorce rather than defeated by it. And let us never forget that if the lights go out in our children’s eyes, be they children of divorce or any other children, we will all live in darkness.
  • —Meyer Elkin, Editor AFCC
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