Throughout the course of your family law case, you will most likely hear quite a few acronyms thrown around by attorneys and the Court. I have compiled a list of the most common acronyms below.
ADR: Alternative Dispute Resolution. This is a general term for methods of resolving cases outside of the courtroom. There are several types of ADR, for example mediation, arbitration and settlement conference are all considered ADR.
QDRO: Qualified Domestic Relations Order. Some retirement accounts require a QDRO in addition to a property division order before they will divide a retirement plan. This makes it easier for the Retirement plan administrator to divide the account pursuant to the Court order. For example, if one spouse is awarded some of a retirement asset in the other party’s name, the QDRO is an order that tells the plan administrator for the company through which the asset is held to whom and how much of the asset to transfer.
CFI: Child and Family Investigator. A CFI is an individual that is appointed by the Court to perform and investigation and recommendation for the Court concerning the best interest of the parties’ children. As part of their investigation the CFI typically speaks to both parties in their homes, as well as interviews the children.
PRE: Parental Responsibilities Evaluator. A PRE is similar to CFI but instead of being the Court’s expert they’re either one or both parties’ expert. Also a PRE must be a mental health processional, while CFIs are not required to be a mental health professional. Generally PRE investigations are much more expansive and entail mental health evaluations of the parties. As a result they’re also more expensive.