(1) The court may interview the child in chambers to ascertain the childs wishes as to the allocation of parental responsibilities. The court may permit counsel to be present at the interview. The court shall cause a record of the interview to be made, and it shall be made part of the record in the case.
(2) The court may seek the advice of professional personnel whether or not they are employed on a regular basis by the court. The advice given shall be in writing and shall be made available by the court to counsel of record, parties, and other expert witnesses upon request, but it shall otherwise be considered confidential and shall be sealed and shall not be open to inspection, except by consent of the court. Counsel may call for cross-examination any professional personnel consulted by the court.
Source: L. 71: R&RE, p. 530, 1. C.R.S. 1963: 46-1-26. L. 98: (1) amended, p. 1384, 12, effective February 1, 1999.
Law reviews. For article, The Role of Childrens Counsel in Contested Child Custody, Visitation and Support Cases, see 15 Colo. Law. 224 . For article, The Childs Wishes in APR Proceedings: An Evidentiary Conundrum, see 36 Colo. Law. 33 (Jan. 2007).
Section does not mandate interviews. In re Rinow, 624 P.2d 365 (Colo. App. 1981); In re Turek, 817 P.2d 615 (Colo. App. 1991).
Trial court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to interview child in chambers. Court had the benefit of prior interview of child, reports filed with the court, and testimony during the hearing. In re Custody of C.J.S., 37 P.3d 479 (Colo. App. 2001).
Parent may not cross-examine child at interview. The father is not entitled, as a matter of law, to cross-examine the children at the time of the interview. In re Agner, 659 P.2d 53 (Colo. App. 1982).
Making record is for benefit of parties. Though the language of this section is mandatory in form, the obvious purpose of making a record is for the benefit of the parties. In re Armbeck, 33 Colo. App. 260, 518 P.2d 300 (1974).
Requirement for record of interview concerning childs preference not violated. Where the court conducted a 15-minute interview with the two minor children but did not inquire concerning their preference the requirement of this section for a record of an interview concerning the childrens preference was not violated. In re Short, 675 P.2d 323 (Colo. App. 1983), revd on other grounds, 698 P.2d 1310 (Colo. 1985).
Requirement of making record may be waived. The requirement of making a record, i.e., a verbatim transcript, of the interview between the court and child may be waived either expressly or by implication. In re Armbeck, 33 Colo. App. 260, 518 P.2d 300 (1974).
Waiver of the requirement of making a record by implication held sufficient. In re Armbeck, 33 Colo. App. 260, 518 P.2d 300 (1974).
For the standard of the common law with respect to interviews, see Rayer v. Rayer, 32 Colo. App. 400, 512 P.2d 637 (1973).
Applied in In re Schulke, 40 Colo. App. 473, 579 P.2d 90 (1978).