Few situations in life are more tumultuous and emotionally charged than that of a child custody battle. It can be even more upsetting when one parent lacks the capacity to provide a safe, healthy environment for the child or children in question. Unfortunately, scenarios such as these can be difficult to prove on your own. That’s when the help of a qualified, experienced private investigator can help. Here’s how.
In-Depth Background Investigation – In many cases, it’s not only the other parent that is potentially placing the child or children in danger, but those with whom he or she associates or resides. A private investigator can conduct comprehensive background investigations on every party in question to uncover any potential evidence of a problem.
Video/Photographic Evidence – You may be confident that your former partner is not acting appropriately or lacks the responsibility to adequately care for your children, but convincing a judge of this can be challenging. Unless, of course, you have evidence. A skilled private investigator can gather the pictures and videos necessary to demonstrate that your concerns are legitimate.
Examining Documents – As much as you suspect certain events in your ex’s life may make him or her an unfit parent, you can’t go into court without the proper documentation. Unfortunately, snooping around to dig up information on your own will probably not produce much viable data. Private investigators, on the other hand, have access to documentation that you may not even realize exists.
On-Site Residential Evaluation – If you suspect that the other parent is neglecting, abusing or placing your child or children in harm’s way at home, chances are you won’t be invited in to check things out for yourself. A private investigator, however, can conduct a thorough on-site assessment of the other party’s home environment to evaluate cleanliness and look for signs of neglect and/or abuse.
Court Testimony – Once you’ve gathered all the proof you need, you’ll likely have to present your case to a judge. An experienced child custody investigator can provide you with a confidential report that details all photo, video and documented evidence obtained during the investigation. If necessary, he or she can also provide testimony as an expert witness during the case.
As a parent, you want to do everything within your power to keep your children safe, healthy and happy. If you suspect that your former partner is not providing an adequate level of care to your kids, you’ll have a much better chance of winning your case if you hire a professional.
For more information or to get the ball rolling on your own child custody investigation, call us at 800-889-3463.
Facing divorce is an extremely emotional event that affects all parties involved, especially if there are children. Divorces can be very emotionally charged, creating feelings of hostility, sadness, resentment, blame, insecurity, and jealousy. Without a doubt, divorce is a life-altering event and rationality does not always play a primary role in the behavior of the parties when experiencing such turmoil.
A “no-fault” divorce is based upon irreconcilable differences and defined as “dissolution of marriage that does not require a determination of misconduct by either party in the divorce,” meaning the petitioner is not required to prove the respondent has committed adultery, domestic abuse, abandonment, felony crime, or similar acts. Prior to no-fault divorces, respondents had been forced to recriminate and participate in a “blame game” prolonging the waiting period of the court’s decision, along with the emotional turmoil all parties experience during the process of divorce.
It is estimated 40-50% of marriages, and up to 60% of second marriages will end in divorce. The most common contributors to divorces are infidelity, accounting for approximately one-third of divorces. Other popular causes are simply growing apart, domestic abuse, financial problems, and sexual discontent, and even interference from family and friends.
As of October 2010, all fifty states and District of Columbia had adopted statutes that recognize a no-fault divorce and enable a court to make a decision without requiring the petitioner to present evidence against the respondent. In fact, according to research conducted by economists Betsy Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, incidents of domestic violence and female suicide have declined with the adoption of no-fault divorces. When mutual consent exists between both parties seeking a divorce, it can end the prolonged suffering of all involved.
Several issues exist that can influence a no-fault dissolution of marriage such as child custody and support, alimony, and the division of assets. When children are involved, allegations of infidelity and child abuse must be considered.
Dissolution and Dissipation of Assets
When adultery occurs in the mix of irreconcilable differences, emotions are at an all-time high but the parties must also consider the effect it can have on the dissolution of the marriage and equitable distribution of assets. When a spouse uses funds for his or her own benefit for purposes unrelated to the marriage while irreconcilable breakdown is occurring, it is termed dissipation of assets. Gambling and drug use can also become a factor when there is intentional dissipation or damage of marital assets. Of course, information relating to such allegations must be well documented in order to substantiate the link between the behavior and the overindulgence or hiding of assets.
Though state laws vary on how courts will determine the timing of wasted assets, an experienced private investigator can identify and document information related to gambling losses, squandered on a lover, criminal activity, and even failure to pay the couple’s primary bills such as mortgages.
When a wife maxes out her credit cards on frequent spending sprees or a husband purchases extravagant gifts for his mistress, a court can take these actions into consideration when dividing property, however these activities must be proven and carefully presented.
The majority of Americans consider infidelity morally wrong and there are still states that consider adultery a criminal offense. Though arrest is highly unlikely in the majority of infidelity cases, proof one party has committed a sexual act for the exchange of money (prostitution), can powerfully influence a court’s decision.
Dissolution and the Private Eye
When considering divorce, information legally collected by a private investigator (commonly referred to as a PI), can be a huge asset. Information obtained during a private investigation can be a strong bargaining tool between parties in an effort to prevent a prolonged and embarrassing court battle, or presented as evidence into court.
When a party going through a divorce is making allegations of misconduct as basis of dissolution of marriage, the incidents of misconduct must be carefully documented to be considered admissible in court. This is when the services of a licensed private investigator can be vital to establishing grounds for the divorce and certainly instrumental to a favorable outcome.
Private investigators have an obligation to those they represent to conduct investigations and surveillance in a legal and ethical manner. When presenting a case to the court it is important to present a true picture that is be presented when such as a comprehensive presentation of assets, spending, any illegal or immoral behavior, acquaintances, or criminal activity.
Thomas Lauth, a twenty-year private investigator, and owner of Lauth Investigations International headquartered in Indianapolis, IN, with offices in Denver, CO, and Phoenix, AZ. Considered an authority in the field of private investigations.
Lauth has specialized client services to individuals facing a divorce. “We recognize divorce can be a traumatic event in the lives of our clients and focus on alleviating much of the stress by collecting the information, conducting surveillance, and properly presenting the information to prevent and even alleviating prolonged stress.”
Kym L. Pasqualini
Lauth Investigations International
201 N. Illinois St., 16th Floor – South Tower
Indianapolis, IN 46254