When the marriage has come to an end, after the divorce proceedings begin, the separation of assets can become a complicated affair in and of itself. When you add children or dependents into the equation, things become a lot more difficult – emotionally and financially.
Unfortunately, depending on the conditions of the divorce, custody battles can get messy with allegations and drama between adults – and at times family members.
We spoke with Ulises Perez, a West Palm Beach Private Investigator and owner of Closure Investigative Agency. Although I was a private investigator in the past, I wanted to know what a specialist – someone who focused on difficult child custody cases, did for their clients. We wanted to know three things: How do they get hired, what do they help with, and what kind of evidence do they gather?
How do you get a Child Custody Investigator?
Ulises: A child custody private investigator can be assigned by a court, they can be retained by a parent or family member, or they can be retained by an attorney who is working on behalf of one of the parents.
More often than not, we are retained by a parent who wants to gain full custody of their child. In some rare occasions, we get hired by grand parents who want their son / daughter to gain custody of the grand daughter / son.
What does a Child Custody Investigator help with?
Ulises: It depends on what the client is looking for.The role we play on day to day investigation is critical in the preparation for an upcoming court battle, or for “checkups” to ensure the parent responsible for a child is keeping up with the conditions of their custody. We help our clients find a series of things. The ones we are most concerned about are:
- Help protect against parental alienation: When a parent is alienated by the other parent – and their family – to try and gain custody of the child.
- Brain washing attempts: When the parent or family tries to convince the child that the other parent is unfit to take care of them, they love them less, etc.
- Identify or gain evidence of child abuse or neglect. Not only by their parents, but by their parent’s associates.
We also help parents try to gather evidence or information to show the court whether or not the parent is in compliance with a court agreement. Whether that court agreement has been in place from the past, or is currently in the process of being setup.
A typical child custody investigation goes beyond looking into a parent. The investigation usually looks into the environment the child is going to be raised in, and the type of associates that will be around the child.
The purpose of this investigation is to determine whether or not the child will be cared for. At the end of the day, it’s not about what parent is best, it’s about what parent is best for the child.
What about evidence gathering?
Ulises: Again, because the purpose of our investigation is to determine what’s best for the child, we want to make sure we gather evidence that will be acceptable in court. When you hire an investigations company like ours, our evidence is better than a “He said, she said” court battle. When you have two parents, a family behind them, and two lawyers arguing their positions without objective presentation of facts, a private investigator can make all the difference.
Depending on what state you’re in, the courts may require different types of evidence, but at the end end of the day, our job is to gather evidence that will help protect the child.
Unfortunately, there is no “we need ABC’ check list that works for every case, which is why we work with our clients to determine what laws are in place in the jurisdiction where there investigation will be conducted. We recommend to always look up the ChildWelfare.org website to see what is best for your child.