July 23, 2013 By Paul Wallin

Guest blog written by: cpatrick

Private Investigator for Child Custody Cases
A private investigator can be your biggest ally when fighting for child custody

A private investigator is often contacted by both law firms and private individuals to deal with matters that pertain to family law. Most often, these cases have to do with child custody, visitation, and support issues and range from verifying compliance with court orders by one parent to alleged child endangerment. The services of a qualified private investigator can be invaluable when it comes to these matters.

At the same time, parties involved in custody disputes often seek the assistance of a private investigator to scrutinize potentially immoral behavior of the opposing party in a divorce case. It is not uncommon to be asked to document everything from how many different men a mother dates in a month to how late a father stays out at a night club with a new girlfriend. Of course, more often than not these activities are taking place while the children are on a weekend visit with the other parent. And, of course, we have to explain to the potential client that unless these activities somehow endanger the children, this information will likely do little to help the case as the court generally has no interest in the social activities of a parent. This is about the time that an experienced private investigator will suggest that the individual seek legal counsel from a competent family law attorney. Here are three likely scenarios where hiring a family law investigator is crucial:

1. When Alcohol Is Involved

In most cases we are asked to look into things that do have a great deal of importance on a family law case, such as verifying compliance with court orders. In one case, the court order stated that the parent was not to consume alcohol during the children’s visitation periods. However, the custodial parent suspected that, during those visitation periods, the other parent was consuming alcohol in violation of the court order. This was not difficult to verify as investigators were able to document the subject make a stop at a local convenience store and purchase two 12 packs of beer after picking up two small children for the weekend. Later, the subject was documented drinking from what appeared to be beer bottles of the same brand purchased earlier while sitting in the garage with the children playing in the drive-way. This, along with other evidence presented by the family lawyer, was enough to convince the court to order supervised visitation.

2. When The Children’s Safety Is At Risk

In another case, we were asked to investigate a mother who was suspected of leaving two small children at home alone while she went out at night. This was found to indeed be the case and the court was able to take steps to ensure the safety of the children. In similar cases where drug dealing was alleged, investigators have documented what could be considered unusually high volumes of traffic in and out of a residence at late hours of the night while children are visiting for the weekend.

3. When The Other Parent Has Unreported Income

In child support cases, we have been able to verify unreported income of individuals working side jobs or under the table. In one of my earliest cases, we were asked to investigate a young woman who had filed for an increase in child support claiming she had no income. The father of the children suspected this was not the case and hired our company to look into the matter. After some field work, we were able to determine the young woman was in fact working as a dancer at a popular gentlemen’s club. Using covert video we were able to document the young woman dancing on stage and picking up what appeared to be large amounts of cash following each of several dances a night on several consecutive nights. For obvious reasons, this case did not go well for the young woman. We have also been able to locate undisclosed assets in divorce cases that otherwise would have never been included

Many family law attorneys see the need for the services of a private investigator and the value provided by the evidence they uncover during their investigations.

Certified Private Investigator

Chuck Cheesman is a private investigator with decades of experience. For more information on his services and background, please visit http://www.cpatrickassociates.com or call 951-427-1915 to set an appointment.

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