Monday, May 15, 2017

Do You Need a Private Investigator for a Child Custody Issue?



When there is an issue of child custody and visitation, many parents want to ensure the child is safe when they are on their visits with the other parent. For some it’s a legal issue. Maybe there is a drug or alcohol issue. Maybe it’s that there are people in the home that shouldn’t be. There could be concerns about proper supervision. Really, the list could go on why people hire private investigators for a child custody case.

When it comes to child custody cases, Mission Possible Investigation is well-equipped to handle these cases and have 10 years of doing so and testifying in court to round out our expertise. What’s important to consider when hiring a private investigator for a child custody case? An investigator should be experienced in interviews and mobile and stationary surveillance, well-versed in child welfare issues and local laws, and a good representative to testify in court. 

Many private investigators that routinely take child custody cases, and this is true of Mission Possible Investigations, do not readily accept every case that comes in. They often have to turn down work because the potential client is simply not credible or does not have the right to access the information about the child. There are times too when the potential client will ask for information the private investigator cannot obtain legally. These are situations when a private investigator does what is ultimately best for the client and the child.

Child custody cases are notoriously messy and complicated. The private investigator’s job is always to find and document the facts. Assumptions, speculation, and the investigator’s own parenting bias should not play a role in the outcome and recommendations from the investigation. Make sure when you are choosing an investigator you are seeking someone fair and impartial and not someone who is easily swayed by unsubstantiated facts. It may not seem fair to the client that the investigator remains unbiased, but in the long run, especially if the case goes to court, it’s critical to the outcome of the investigation.

If you are unsure if your suspicions warrant a child custody investigation, the following is a list of common scenarios and considerations Mission Possible Investigation has investigated:
  • The overall safety and welfare of the child is in question.
  • There is new person in the home that is questionable. These cases often require the investigator to confirm if in fact the subject is living with someone and what if any criminal background or allegations have been brought against this person.
  • The custodial parent may not be living with someone new but is leaving the child unattended with someone they shouldn’t or bringing the child into unsafe environments.
  • There are issues with drugs or alcohol. The custodial parent may be using drugs or alcohol around the child or leaving the child with babysitters while they go out to bars or parties. The occasional use of a babysitter is common and usually acceptable in most cases unless otherwise stipulated in the custody terms.
  • Also common is when a custodial parent is utilizing babysitters frequently and it has not been approved in the custody arrangement. Either the sitters are somehow inappropriate choices or the length of time the child is left brings into question why the custodial parent has primary custody in the first place.
Leaving the child unattended without a sitter is also a common concern when a client is calling regarding a child custody case. Most states do not stipulate how old a child must be before they are left alone. It is usually taken on a case per case basis and how mature the child is and their ability to meet their basic needs and general safety while alone.