Among the most sensitive matters faced in a marriage dissolution are issues of child custody and visitation. For many parents, there is nothing more heartbreaking than losing in a custody battle with a former spouse. If you’re facing a court battle over child custody or visitation, you should consider hiring a private investigator. Trustify’s network of investigators can conduct child custody investigations which involve a comprehensive dive into the character, behavior, and parenting practices of your ex-spouse to collect the evidence needed to protect the best interests of your child.
What is a Child Custody Investigation?
The purpose of a child custody or child visitation investigation is to collect evidence regarding a spouse’s behavior and activities (particularly in regard to parenting) to be used against them as part of a divorce, separation, custody, or visitation legal proceeding. This can mean that one party is seeking evidence of bad conduct on the part of the other, or a party may be seeking evidence to prove the falseness of allegations of bad conduct made by the other party.
The primary interest of a court in overseeing any child-related case is to ensure the safety and well-being of the child or children involved – applying what is commonly known as the “Best Interests of the Child” standard. Factors considered under the standard vary from state to state, but commonly include:
- The child’s age
- Capacity of the parent to provide the child with a stable, safe, and secure home environment (including necessities such as food, clothing, medical care, etc.)
- Love, affection and other emotional ties between parent and child
- Moral fitness of the parent (including any criminal history, evidence of drug or alcohol abuse, etc.)
- Physical and emotional stability of the parent
- Evidence of abuse (physical, mental, emotional, verbal) or neglect, particularly in regard to the child or other parent
- Preference in keeping siblings together
- Willingness of one parent to uphold the parental rights of, and to cooperate with, the other parent
- The child’s preferences
Who Are Child Custody and Child Visitation Investigations For?
Child custody and visitation investigations are most commonly sought by a party directly involved in a divorce, separation, or related court case – that is, a parent to the child or children at the center of the custody or visitation issue. Investigative services are also often retained by an attorney on behalf of a client who is a party to custody or visitation litigation. In some cases, investigations are initiated by interested third parties, such as relatives (grandparents, siblings) or close friends to someone involved in a custody or visitation action.
Starting a Child Custody and Visitation Investigation
Hiring a private investigator with Trustify is quick and easy. Every case is assigned a dedicated investigator and Case Manager to assist you every step of the way. Here’s how the process works:
1. Request a Consultation: Submit your case online or by phone to schedule your consultation. We'll ask for the details we need to get your case matched with an investigator and provide cost estimates.
2. Consult With Your Investigator: A licensed private investigator will contact you to talk to you about the purpose and goals of the investigation, and to collect any relevant information about your case.
3. Investigation in Progress: The methods and techniques employed by your investigator depend upon the particular circumstances of your case. Typical investigative methods include:
- Surveillance. May include surveillance of the opposing spouse’s interactions with their child – to show abuse, neglect, absence of affection, etc. or negative behavior away from the child – such as drug or alcohol abuse, illegal or morally questionable activities, etc.
- Background Checks. Background checks involve locating and reviewing the personal, professional, and financial information of an individual to confirm or refute claims made by them in connection with custody or visitation issues. The background check may be run on the opposing spouse, the opposing spouse’s new romantic partner, or any other associate of the opposing spouse with access to, or interaction with, the child or children concerned.
- Witness Interviews and Statements: Witness statements can be used to reinforce claims made by the client or dispute claims made by the opposing spouse. Due to their objective nature, statements from disinterested witnesses often carry particular weight with courts.
4. Case Updates & Final Report: Your investigator will keep you informed of all developments in real-time. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, a full report will be provided along with any court-admissible evidence. In addition, your private investigator may be available to testify on your behalf in court, if necessary and agreed-upon before the start of the investigation.
What Investigators Will Not Do
Investigators will not break the law or violate ethical standards in conducting your child custody or visitation investigation. Acting in an illegal or unprofessional manner can result in the inadmissibility of important evidence, and lead to the failure of a custody or visitation case in court.