Preparing for Your Child Custody Investigation

By April 4, 2013Child Custody

Child custody cases are complex legal affairs – a fact that overwhelms many of the parents that our investigators speak to on a daily basis.  Most parents count on the fact that being what they perceive as a “good parent” will be enough to win custody of their children.  However, having an emotional bond with your child is not always enough to sway the decision of the court or to prove your side of the story.

Unfortunately, the court has no way of reviewing previous years of your life to see how close you were to your children or how well you raised them. They don’t have access to video files where they get to see you tuck your kids in at night, prepare their breakfast or help with their homework. You may be the world’s best parent, but all the cherished memories that you have of being a good parent are yours alone.

The judges can’t see that.

They can’t rely on that.

And that’s why you need to prove your case.

How can you prove to a judge that you deserve either full custody (or, at least, partial custody)? Many lawyers recommend speaking with private investigator to determine if they can help you win your case.

Preparing for a Child Custody Investigation

Considering how important home investigations are, you simply can’t afford to put the wrong foot forward – everything that you do wrong during an investigation lessens your chances of winning custody. And since there’s no “reset” switch on a child custody investigation, it’s vital that you know what to do before the process begins.

The following is a quick list of things to do that can help you win your child custody case:

Meet with a Lawyer

No matter how experienced you are at handling legal matters, you’ll probably still have questions about your child custody case. In these instances, the best person to help you is your attorney. Any specific legal questions you have should be directed to your lawyer.

Prepare Your Documents

During child custody investigations, parents are typically required to provide information about the people in their children’s lives. Have this information ready so that you can provide it as soon as the court-appointed evaluator asks.

Be aware that it’s also normal for the court to request a criminal background check on the occupants of the home, typically focusing on those who are directly involved in caring for the children (including girlfriends, boyfriends or relatives). Adult occupants who aren’t directly involved with your children may be exempted, depending on the circumstances and the investigator.  To prepare for your case, it’s a good idea to run your own background checks on any individuals involved in your children’s life. Not only will this help your case, it’s an important part of keeping your kids safe as well!

If you’re concerned about the impact background checks may have on your custody hearing, it’s a good idea to discuss such details with a private investigator.  He or she will be able to review your current home setup and determine whether or not a change is needed before your hearing.

Speak to a Private Investigator to Strengthen Your Case

If you’re looking to prove to the courts that your significant other isn’t suitable as a sole guardian, you’ll need a private investigator on your side. A private investigator can help you to uncover the truth in situation. As an example, if you’re concerned about your child’s safety and are hoping to prove neglect or abuse in order to gain visitation rights or a full adoption, then a private investigator can help you.

There are a number of different ways a private investigator can help you in your custody case. For instance, if you’re looking to prove the integrity of your former significant other, surveillance is essential. Surveillance helps to determine peoples’ patterns, including where they go, who they spend time with and whether they’re involved in illegal/illicit activities such as gambling, drug abuse, reckless driving, drunk driving, alcoholism, criminal behavior or any other behaviors that might make them unsuitable as parents. Any of these are sufficient reason for a father or mother to lose custody of a child.  If any of these situations are discovered, a private investigator can help disclose the facts by obtaining specific surveillance footage.

An investigator is also able to question the parents and ask the parents to fill out detailed questionnaires about their parenting practices and children’s needs. Additionally, investigators can speak to witnesses and neighbors in order to gather character assessments on the person of interest. Because investigators are often former law enforcement officers, they can act as “Expert Witnesses” in your custody case and can even go on to testify in court about the activities they witnessed during surveillance.

By speaking to both your lawyer and a private investigator, you’ll be better prepared for the evaluation process, helping you to avoid the missteps that could cost you your custody case.

Be Professional

Remember, a private investigator is a serious professional. If you’re hoping to hire a private investigator to obtain false information, be aware that this doesn’t happen. Private investigators are professionals whose primary objective is to discover the truth, find the facts and obtain any additional evidence that pertains to the case. They won’t omit information just because it displeases the client – they’re there for the facts and can even lose their licenses if they fabricate evidence.

Private investigators are here to bring you peace of mind during these difficult times by obtaining the evidence you need to be successful in your custody case. Hopefully, you’ll only ever have to go through one or two child custody cases in your life, so don’t be afraid if you have questions about the process.  Private investigators do this regularly and understand how delicate these situations are and what needs to be done to help prove your case.

Going through the child custody investigation process can be scary – especially considering how much is at stake.  However, by familiarizing yourself with the process and reaching out to a private investigator when necessary, you’ll greatly improve your odds of reaching a successful outcome.

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