Child Custody Investigations
In the event of divorce or separation, one of the issues to be dealt with is the care of the child or children of the relationship. If parenting arrangements can’t be agreed on between the parties then there might be a legal dispute over who will have custody of the children. Child custody refers to the legal and practical relationship between a child and his or her parent or guardian, and it often becomes a point of contention when one parent is unsuitable to be a carer.
Hiring a Private Investigator for Child Custody Disputes
A private investigator can assist individuals who are embroiled in custody battles by gathering evidence that demonstrates an ex-partner’s inability to provide adequate care for their children. The physical and psychological wellbeing of a child is always the first priority, so if a parent believes that the other parent poses a threat to the child, it’s worth trying to prove that. Without evidence, a court usually won’t deny either parent access to a child. Armed with evidence of neglect, abuse, criminality or improper behaviour, a parent may be able to obtain sole custody of a child or restrict the other parent to supervised access.
An investigator is trained to expect the unexpected in every investigation but in no area is this truer than in custody investigations. It’s not uncommon to have one particular objective in mind in a custody investigation and end up with unexpected evidence that is of benefit to a client.
Generally speaking, an investigator is able to assist in 2 main ways:
By conducting physical, covert surveillance, investigators can discreetly gather proof (before or after a separation) of wrongdoing or neglect on the part of a wayward parent. An investigator may be able to provide evidence that shows the subject party engaging in behaviour that is dangerous, criminal, inappropriate or in breach of an order issued by a court. Some examples include proof of drug use or excessive alcohol consumption, dangerous driving and neglect or abuse of a child. Proof of a parent’s association with bad or dangerous people like known criminals can also go towards showing that the child is not safe when in that parent’s care. Sometimes, it’s necessary to prove that a child is being left with someone other than the parent responsible and surveillance is required to prove as much.
The other way in which an investigator often assists with custody investigations is by conducting background checks. A background check is a proactive way to identify risks associated with a former partner’s new partner who will likely come into contact with one’s child if custody is shared. Past behaviour is the best indicator of future behaviour so a background check may reveal that an associate of the subject parent is a criminal, a con artist or otherwise undesirable. In the course of a background check, an investigator conducts searches through public records and specific databases to uncover information about a person’s past. Even if nothing incriminating is discovered, it can be entirely worth it for the peace of mind.
Lyonswood Investigations has conducted countless surveillance operations over our 37 years of operation experience, and the evidence we’ve uncovered over the course of these investigations has been utilised in civil, criminal and family court cases. Our investigators have specifically provided evidence gathered through surveillance in a number of custody disputes, uncovering proof of partners breaching court orders, driving dangerously, breaking the law, and even assaulting a child. Background checks conducted by Lyonswood have given our clients insights into thousands of individuals over the years and helped uncover information about persons of interest in family law disputes.
Sometimes, the best chance one will have to gather evidence in a family law or custody dispute is when he or she is still living with the partner and knows what the other party is getting up to from firsthand knowledge. If you are in this situation, an investigator can help provide advice about how a client and private eye can work together to gather intel. If the separation has already taken place, it’s best to leave the legwork to a licenced investigator and avoid any risk of stalking charges yourself.