Custody battles are one of the most taxing and distressing events that can occur within a family. From the emotions broiling between caregivers to choosing the best possible living situation for a child, both tensions and the stakes can be very high for all those involved. As all parties involved prepare for family court, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the documents and information required. In order to maintain some sense of objectivity, many families hire a private investigator for custody investigations, which has many benefits, both inside and outside the courtroom.
Why hire a private investigator for custody investigations? Private investigators have a wealth of skills and tools that can arm caregivers with the information they need to enter a courtroom and prove their case to a family court judge.
Comprehensive background investigations: While potential caregivers may have personal knowledge of another party’s fitness for custody, proving the absolute objectivity of that information in family court can prove difficult, as most family court judges know inherently that all potential caregivers will have an axe to grind when it comes to their case. However, with an independent, comprehensive background check, a private investigator can identify crucial factors in a potential caregiver’s personal life, such as address history, criminal history, and litigation history. Each of these factors needs a private investigator’s trained eye to discern how relevant they might become within a custody investigation, and present those factors with objectivity.
Documenting relative lifestyle factors: In background investigations, relevant factors may come up that will need to be documented for the court by an independent party. For instance, if a potential caregiver believes that another associates with dangerous individuals or if they keep strange hours due to substance abuse, a private investigator could document those factors through field surveillance. With videos and photographs of the alleged bad behavior, the evidence will be harder to impeach in court.
Examining documents: Private investigators have the ability to get their hands on relevant paperwork regarding a potential caregiver. Many families attempt to procure relevant paperwork of their own accord, but often with less than ideal results. Not only is it crucial to obtain the paperwork, but private investigators can review paperwork with an independent eye and ability to cross-check relevant information that will be of interest to the court.
Evaluation of primary residence: When making decisions about where a child should live, documenting the living conditions will be paramount. Using the same field surveillance technology used to document lifestyle factors can also be used to document the living conditions of the residence. While it’s true that private investigators cannot enter a person’s home without being invited, there are undercover ruses that can be used to photograph the inside of the home. The property around the residence will also need to be documented, especially factors like structures being in disrepair, refuse on the lawn, or heavy machinery stored on the property that could be a safety factor.
Independent testimony: By far, the greatest asset of a private investigator’s involvement is their independence and objectivity. Family court judges know that all parties involved in a child custody situations, all parties involved cannot possibly be 100% objective. Hiring a private investigator for child custody investigations can be a huge step in the direction swaying the judge. Private investigators have no stake in the outcome of the case, and therefore, their testimony can be viewed as objective by the court.
If you need a private investigator for child custody investigations, call Lauth Investigations International at 317-951-1100 for a free quote and learn how we can help you. For more information, you can also visit us online at www.lauthinvestigations.com.
For any devoted parent or guardian, few things are more gut wrenching than entering into a child custody battle. Whether rooted in divorce or a conflict between caregivers, emotions are sure to run high—and even the most well-intended adults can see the children they want to protect cast adrift within the harsh current of child custody proceedings.
Between the court system, lawyers, and child services, parents or guardians are often left feeling that their voices aren’t being heard. This is because—unless a crime such as neglect or abuse draws law enforcement into the picture—conclusions are often based solely upon a he-said she-said slinging match, with opposing council potentially trying to paint testimony as false or even malicious.
So how can a parent protect themselves? Well, here at the offices of Indianapolis-based Lauth Investigations, we take great pride in operating a family-run private investigations firm—and by extension in providing the type of child custody investigations Indiana residents both require and deserve. If you are facing a fight for child custody and need assistance in safeguarding your children’s well-being, a dedicated child custody investigator from our team is ready to help you paint an honest and credible picture of the co-parent or guardian in question, so that the court can make a decision that is both fair and just.
What Do Private Investigators Look For In a Child Custody Case?
When using a private investigator for child custody, there are many forms that their role might take. You may turn to a private investigator for child support investigation, asking them to paint a clear picture of the opposing party’s assets. A child custody private investigator may set about gathering evidence to argue in court for sole or joint custody, helping you to establish physical and legal custody or negotiate visitation rights.
To the question, “What does a child investigator look for?”, the answer is varied indeed. Sadly, it is often the case that one of the parental or guardian parties stays on best behavior when in front of those who might influence the outcome of a child custody case, but quickly revert to less favorable behavior when they believe eyes are no longer on them. So, how do you prove a parent unfit? In these instances, a child custody investigator may conduct high-tech and discreet surveillance in order to document the reality of the situation for the courts.
The Comfort Of Hiring a Private Investigator For Child Custody
Crucially, a trusted child custody private investigator will be able to advise the concerned parent or guardian on the options that are available to them—asking the right child custody investigation questions and ensuring that no counterproductive missteps are made. For example, in a partial child custody investigation, it may be essential that the investigator to stay strictly within the scope of seeking information requested by the court. In this sense, the presence of a level-headed and objective investigator can be invaluable to a parent or guardian riding the emotional roller coaster of such a challenging process. Family law private investigators are not only instrumental in case building, but can also be a great source of stability until you have successfully weathered the storm..
Here at Lauth Investigations International, we are dedicated to providing exactly the family law-specialized child custody investigator Indianapolis and Indiana parents need to have in their corner. We will listen to your story with compassion, and help you partner with the right collaborator, giving you confidence that the necessary parent investigation or guardian investigation to come will illuminate the truth, so that justice can be served. Don’t navigate child custody proceedings alone—learn more about our child custody investigation services today, and contact us as soon as you’re ready for immediate guidance and a no-obligation quote.
In order to make crucial decisions regarding family, it’s imperative to have all the information available. When it comes to the safety of minor children, objective facts are the crux of any decisions made regarding their care and living arrangements. In some cases, it may become necessary to place minor children in the care of their grandparents. In cases where grandparent custody is ordered, it helps to have the objectivity of a private investigator for purposes of fact-finding and due-diligence.
There are multiple circumstances under which grandparent custody might be considered during matters of child custody. Typically, grandparents take custody when both of the legal parents or guardians of the child are unable to care for them due to death, incarceration, institutionalization, or other forms of intervention on behalf of the state. Children are often placed with their grandparents by the court. In courts, it’s part of the due-diligence of the judge and any guardians ad litem that the health and happiness of the child be the priority. When making these determinations, having the objective opinion of a private investigator can go a long way.
Private investigators might be pulled in on behalf of concerned grandparents who fear their grandchildren are unsafe with their parent(s). The circumstances can range substantially. Parents who’ve had custody of their children taken from them and placed in the hands of grandparents might also be concerned for their child’s safety. Regardless of the context of grandparent custody, private investigators are there to perform due-diligence and provide recommendations.
Private investigators are first and foremost independent professionals. They are not bound by any jurisdiction or chain of command, and are free to pursue the truth rather than a desired outcome. With no stake in the outcome of the investigation, their word carriers an extra veneer of integrity that can be compelling in a court of law. Private investigators are highly adept at blending in to the background so they can document the unseen factors in any grandparent custody case. Using the best available in surveillance technology, private investigators can observe children in grandparent custody, documenting factors like how clean and well-fed do they look? Does the child seem happy? Does the child appear to have a good relationship with the grandparents? Private investigators can also canvass areas that are frequented by those with grandparent custody, interviewing them about what they have observed. Private investigators are highly adept at developing rapport with subjects and witnesses alike. Because private investigators are not law enforcement and have no powers of arrest, witnesses might also feel more comfortable opening up to them, which can dislodge roadblocks in case progression.
If you need help investigating a case of grandparent custody, consider the services of Lauth Investigations International today for your intelligence needs. Our team of investigators is comprised of former military and law enforcement who have diverse experience with the criminal justice system and intelligence operations. We carry an A+ with the Better Business Bureau and continue to garner 5-star Google reviews from grateful clients. For more information, visit us online at www.lauthinvestigations.com
Lauth Investigations was contacted by a concerned grandmother regarding her minor grandchildren.
The Client’s son was divorced from the child’s mother, the Subject, who had begun seeing a boyfriend who was a convicted child molester. The Subject had visitation with the children, and the Client wanted to know if the boyfriend was staying at the house during the day or overnight.
Lauth investigators spoke with the Client and her son about what the children have stated regarding their mother’s boyfriend and how often he is present. The children informed them that the Subject usually stayed at the boyfriend’s residence.
Investigators stationed themselves outside the Subject’s residence to see if the boyfriend made an appearance at the residence while the children were present. After a few sessions of surveillance, neither the Subject nor the boyfriend’s vehicle was observed at the residence. The boyfriend lived in a trailer park, where there were no sufficient places to conduct inconspicuous surveillance and neighbors were vigilant of activity outside their homes. After much surveillance, it was determined that the boyfriend did not spend time at the Subject’s home, but that the Subject spent most of her time at the boyfriend’s trailer. It was determined that the boyfriend was not around the children. However, it was also concluded by the investigator that when the children were dropped off for visitation with their mother, the Subject would leave the children with her mother, and spend visitation time with the boyfriend instead.
Lauth investigators compiled a report of their logged surveillance on the subject, including the findings that although the boyfriend was not around the children, the Subject was not spending visitation time with the children. This report was passed along to the Client, who advised they would be using this report in their upcoming hearing regarding sole custody of the children to the children’s father.
Divorce and child custody are polarizing topics in the United States. Divorce itself is an ugly business. Two people who stood in front of their friends and families and promised themselves to another now find themselves in a situation where the life they built together is over. Often it is a storm of heightened emotions, personal crises, mediation, negotiation, carping, and resentment. For many, children sit in the eye of the storm, helplessly witnessing the destruction of their family unit around them. As if this were not tumultuous enough, children often become silent pawns between two parents or caregivers who seek to hurt one another. When developing a strategy for navigating a custody situation, caregivers often do not consider the possibility of hiring a private investigator to help build a credible case for sole or partial custody.
Many couples who are on the brink of divorce, or already treading in the harsh current of proceedings, default to the advice of lawyers, the court system, and child services when it comes to issues of custody. There is a myriad of reasons for this, including a parent’s financial means, work schedule, health issues, and ignorance. What’s problematic about leaving issues of custody in the hands of lawyers and the courts is families in turmoil become files in a drawer. The decisions made on behalf of the legal system often rest on the review of a mountain of paperwork; courts relying on police reports, financial/asset summaries, psychological evaluations, et cetera. What’s on paper becomes the load bearing beam for any decision made regarding custody, because caregivers in conflict are both subject to scrutiny in their statements against the other.
Private investigators have a tool chest similar to that of law enforcement allowing them to document a subject’s movements, behavior, and treatment of their children—both prior to divorce proceedings and after. Members of law enforcement are often the most credible investigators in the eyes of the court. However, unless a criminal act is reported, such as domestic violence or child neglect, law enforcement has little to no involvement in custody cases. Parents without those tools at hand are left with little recourse. Any evidence they document themselves is subject to scrutiny by the courts and by opposing counsel as misrepresented, inaccurate, or downright false. In those cases, those parents trying to build a credible case against their co-parent or caregiver can be maligned as malicious by opposing counsel, and those details may prove to be to their detriment.
The number one advantage of hiring a private investigator to document a questionable parent’s behavior is their ability to move through any environment undetected. Despite the fact a study determined there was an excess of 78,000 private investigators employed in the United States alone in 2017, you’ll never see a good one in the field. Private investigators are trained to blend into the crowd and surveil inconspicuously in order to ensure the subject does not modify their behavior for the benefit of being watched. In addition to hiding in plain sight, part of maintaining success in their profession means staying up to date on the best available surveillance technology on the market in order to gather evidence for their cases. Things like cameras disguised as ink pens, or drones with quiet motors that will not be easily detected. Parents are on their very best behavior when in mediation or appearing before a judge, but private investigators can completely upset the current state of a custody case with evidence they uncover in the field. They can document things like abuse and neglect through photographs, video, audio recordings, witness testimony, and the same examination of vital documents that would be performed by the courts. Their training has equipped them to be on the lookout for things like substance dependency, such as alcoholism, drug addiction, or gambling problems. They can also document the opposing caregiver’s living conditions, whether or not the child is clean and well-fed, and their emotional wellness while in the care of said person. What makes a private investigator a particularly valuable asset is they are an objective third-party. Even if they have in fact been paid by one party in a custody case, misrepresentation of facts on their part may mollify their client in the moment, but will ultimately hurt their integrity with future business. Due to this, private investigators can become unimpeachable witnesses to behavior they’ve seen on the part of the opposing side that would damage the child’s well-being.
Private investigators can take on child custody cases at many different levels, all of which can be beneficial to the parent who wishes to establish a case against another parent or caregiver who they perceive to have questionable integrity. As with any investigation, the sooner the process of documenting and gathering evidence starts, the stronger a foundation the parent will have when they present their case before a judge. Parents who are considering divorcing a co-parent or caregiver and intend to establish a pattern of unfitness should consult a private investigator right away. The subject is more likely to proceed as they would normally prior to news that their partner is taking them to court. While the subject may not suspect they are being legally surveilled during a divorce proceeding, they are aware of the fact that—at a minimum—their behavior and actions during that time will be taken under consideration by the courts. The time to start collecting evidence is before divorce papers are drawn up and served.
However, it’s no mystery circumstances may not allow for this. Events prompting divorce proceedings may be very sudden, allowing no time for a hyper-covert investigation on behalf of the client. Parents who are in abusive relationships may not have access to the financial resources for this kind of initiative. As such, many private investigators enter the case when divorce is already a reality and custody proceedings are in full swing. One of the major criticisms of the court system in custody cases is children are often defaulted to the custody of their mothers, leaving fit fathers or other caregivers with few options. In one such example, an investigator from Indianapolis, IN was hired to investigate the parental fitness of a mother fighting her ex-husband and his parents for custody of their eight-year-old daughter. The child was shuttled back and forth between her mother and father’s respective homes for a few months while family court proceedings moved at a glacial pace. The father became increasingly concerned about his daughter while she was in her mother’s custody, and hired a private investigator to find answers. The investigator uncovered the mother’s place of residence on the record was dilapidated, dirty, and not at all a suitable environment for a child. Additionally, the investigator found the mother’s new husband had a criminal record, regularly used drugs, and had questionable judgement when it came to things like social media interaction and encounters with law enforcement. This led to the father retaining full custody of his daughter, with the mother being allowed only supervised visits. This investigative strategy is a two-way street, meaning that a parent who has been falsely accused of abuse or neglect in order to limit access to their child can hire a private investigator to disprove these claims, document the proper living conditions for the child in question, and secure evidence of malicious intent on behalf of the caregiver making false allegations.
Children should never be used as chess pawns in a messy divorce. Ultimately, any child custody investigation should be about the child’s safety and well-being—not about which parent is righteous in their indignation. A private investigator’s expertise, testimony, and lack of bias can shine a crisp, contextual light on the muddied waters of a child custody case.