Child Custody Investigations

When it comes to your children, you should expect facts, not fiction.

Lauth is the family-owned business for your family crisis

When it comes to divorce and co-parenting situations, child custody matters are hyper common. Legal custody of a child, whether sole custody or physical custody, can be a critical piece of a child’s living situation. When two parties cannot agree on physical custody or otherwise, it can be necessary for a court of law to intervene on the child’s behalf. Unfortunately, despite their importance, matters of child custody can become ugly very quickly. When two parties cannot agree, a flurry of they-said, they-said accusations and grievances can arise. In addition to a combative narrative, courts may also have to rely only on the testimonies of either caretaker in order to reach decisions in matters of child custody. This can lead to a legal custody decision that might not be in the best interest of the child.

Child Custody Investigations

When determining which caregiver should have legal custody or physical custody of a child, a comprehensive, objective investigation is not only prudent, but absolutely necessary. Child custody investigations vet a child’s living situation, evaluate the competency of the caregiver, and conclude with concise recommendations for the parties involved. At Lauth, we know that when it comes to child custody investigations, you deserve facts, not fiction. We use comprehensive and verified methodology to document your child’s co-parenting situation and determine which caregiver should have legal custody or physical custody. Our investigators collaborate regularly with law enforcement and family law attorneys in order to bring crucial context to a custody situation. We provide detailed reports and expert recommendations to ensure your child’s health and well-being. From the background check to the courtroom, we are dedicated to supporting our clients and their families in our child custody investigations. Whether you’re going through a messy divorce or reconciling a co-parenting situation, Lauth Investigations International is the child custody investigator for your family. Our services can be applied to many custody situations, including but not limited to:

  • Child support
  • Domestic violence
  • Supervised custody
  • Family court compliance
  • Physical custody
  • Legal custody
  • Joint Custody
  • Sole Custody
  • Visitation rights & custody agreement
  • Divorce proceedings

How Lauth can help you with your child custody crisis.

Criminal History & Background Checks

Lauth uses verified databases and cross-reference methodology to secure a comprehensible background report on the relevant Subjects in the case. Lauth’s private investigators are trained to view a person’s criminal, financial, address, and litigation history to identify significant risk foctors and provide expert recommendations for our clients and their families.


Lauth uses the latest in surveillance techonology to bring certainty to child custody investigations. Our private investigators are comprised of former military and law enforcement who are trained in proven surveillance methodology to capture the unseen factors in child custody

Evidence gathering

Combined with our surveillance technology, our investigators are highly trained in discreet evidence gathering to support their findings in the case. Evidence is properly documented and included our comprehensive report to the client.

Witness Location

Lauth investigators use verified databases and diverse experience in canvassing to locate and speak to witnesses with relevant information to the case. We develop amiable rapport with witnesses and work with them to document their accounts, serving as qualified liasons between witnesses and our clients.


With the help of verified databases, Lauth’s skip-trace services allow investigators to locate Subjects and relevant parities in any custody investigation. Lauth will perform due-diligence in locating individuals in pursuit of truth for our clients.

Comprehensive reports

Our private investigators prepare thorough, cross-referenced reports for our clients to empower them with the knowledge they need to make crucial decisions in their time of crisis. All reports are generated with the assistance of verified databases and crossreference of investigators.

Expert recommendations

Lauth employs privJte investigators with over40 years combined experience in law enforcement and private investigations. We use due-diligence and proven methodology to provide our clients any guidance we can when it comes to weighing decisions in custody investigations.

Missing person investigations

Our CEO Thomas Lauth is one of the nation’s foremost experts in missing children and adults. Lauth is well-versed in the challenges of parental kidnapping investigations and works in tandem with law enforcement to reunite families throughout the country. For more information, please visit our Missing Persons site.

Why clients need our services

Many couples who are on the brink of divorce, or already enduring in the harsh current of proceedings, default to the advice of lawyers, the court system, and child services when it comes to issues of legal custody or physical 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 child 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 in a divorce or custody matter 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 legal custody or physical custody, because caregivers in conflict are both subject to scrutiny in their statements against the other.

Matters of child custody, by their very nature, demand an independent, objective eye in order to make a sound legal decision regarding that child’s life. The court is the principal objective viewpoint that holds decision power when determining physical custody, but they must rely on the evidence in front of them. In a divorce or acrimonious co-parenting situation, if a parent seeking legal or physical custody presents evidence to the court that they have gathered themselves (i.e. text messages, photos, or audio recordings), that evidence will always be subjected to a level of scrutiny by the court. This leaves many parents and caregivers ill-equipped to argue their child custody case before a court of law, and that’s where private investigators come in.

Statistics on Child Custody Investigations

The average amount of areared child support is $6,050. Only 62% of those arears are received.


88% of custody rulings are established by the court or a government entity


Fathers are 50% more likely to abuse their children when they abuse their partners. Mothers are 25% more likely to abuse their children when they abuse their partners.

Independence & integrity

A private investigator’s only loyalty is to the truth. Even if they’re being paid for their services, manufacturing findings in a child custody case does a disservice to their reputation, especially in cases where the child might be in real danger. Because a private investigator has no direct stake in the outcome of a child custody investigation, they are ideal candidates to document problematic behavior on behalf of caregiver. As such, the facts they find and the evidence they gather withstand a higher degree of scrutiny from a court or supervisory entity. In addition to navigating the tumultuous nature of divorce proceedings, Lauth’s child custody investigators are also adept at working in tandem with family law attorneys who are helping their clients secure joint custody or physical custody of their child. Family law attorneys can rely on the integrity and due-diligence of a private investigator in order to get answers for their clients in matters of joint custody or physical custody.

Discretion and due-diligence

When it comes to determining legal custody, evidence is key. The number one advantage of hiring a private investigator to document a questionable parent’s behavior in a child custody case 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. For instance, in a divorce, if your estranged spouse is allowing questionable individuals to be around your child, a private investigator could secure evidence that the spouse is putting that child in danger, which could tip the scales in terms of getting physical custody of the child.

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 child custody case with evidence they uncover in the field. Private investigators can document the behavior unseen by the courts. In matters of child custody, private investigators 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. A private investigator’s training has equipped them to be on the lookout for things like substance dependency, such as alcoholism, drug addiction, or gambling problems. Private investigators can also document the opposing caregiver’s living conditions, whether or not the child is clean and well-fed, and the child’s emotional wellness in the course of a child custody investigation. Through their discretion and integrity, a private investigator will never leave a stone unturned in a child custody investigation due to personal bias.

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 child custody 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.

Independent testimony

The cure for a combative narrative in a child custody investigation is the testimony of a witness with nothing to gain from the outcome. Lauth Investigation International’s private investigators are dedicated to helping our clients through every stage of an investigation, and that includes subsequent legal action. We work with family law attorneys to provide expert testimony for their clients. Having a private investigator on your witness list in a child custody investigation builds another layer on the integrity of the investigation. Private investigators are paid for their services, but are not paid for their findings. As an objective third party, a private investigator can be an independent voice for the child that allows a court to receive unbiased testimony in the interest of the child’s health and safety.

State supervision

In some cases, a child custody investigation might involve the oversight of a state employee such a social services. The startling truth is that although these agencies are supposed to protect their children from problematic physical custody situations, custody cases can still fall through the cracks and important red flags can be missed. A 2019 report from the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that Kentucky and Indiana have the highest rates of child abuse in the nation. That is  hundreds over overburdened case workers and an increased rate of human error in the supervision of children at risk for abuse. Bureaucracy can slow down the process considerably, Private investigators have diverse experience and autonomy devoid of bureaucratic red tape—yielding a comprehensive, swift investigation in the interest of your child’s safety. We provide detailed reports and expert recommendations.

Child support investigations

In cases where parents have retained sole custody of their children, but have a court order in place for child support can sometimes have difficulty getting the other party to comply with the order. Perhaps the other parent claims they do not have the funds to meet the court’s requirement, or they claim to be protesting the court’s requirements on some sort of legal grounds. In sole custody situations like this, the custodial parent needs an independent party who can represent the interest of the children. Private investigators can use their surveillance skillset to document certain behaviors of the non-custodial parent and determine their ability to make child support payments. Private investigators can photograph exteriors of a parent’s property to document expensive vehicles and home improvements. They can document a parent’s moves in order to get an idea of their spending habits. Credit and asset searches can also be conducted by private investigators to give a more comprehensive picture of a parent’s financial situation and how realistic it is for them to comply with a child support order.

If you have need of a child custody investigation, consider Lauth Investigations International for your intelligence needs. Our private investigators are comprised of former military and law enforcement personnel who are ready to represent the safety and interest of your child. We provide detailed reports and expert recommendations. Call 317-951-1100 or contact us on our website at

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Additional Resources

What is a child custody investigation?

A child custody investigation is an objective observation of a child’s well-being and treatment, usually as part of a divorce, separation, or custody case.

A typical investigation involves an investigator assessing the treatment of a child by his or her parents. The conclusion of the investigator is then reported to the court and used in custody evaluations. 

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