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Can a Private Investigator Help Me With My Child Custody Dispute?

The hardest part of any divorce can be determining who gets custody of the couple’s child or children. There are many different factors that judges take into consideration, but things can get particularly messy if one parent is unfit. Unfortunately, one spouse’s testimony against another often doesn’t hold much weight in court unless there is substantial, legally admissible evidence to back up his or her accusations. The burden of proof is on the good parent. In these types of cases, a private investigator may be able to help.
Reasons to Hire a Private Investigator
If you need to prove that your child’s other parent is neglectful, abusive or does things such as excessive drinking or drug use that put the child in danger, then you will need to provide irrefutable evidence that this is true. Witnesses may be helpful, but they can also easily be discredited as biased. In order to obtain proof of your co-parent’s reckless and/or cruel behavior, hiring a private investigator can be the best way to obtain the information that you need.
Reasons Not to Hire a Private Investigator
You may not like the fact that your ex spouse is seeing someone else, but that doesn’t automatically mean he or she is doing anything legally wrong. Unless there is a possibility that this person could present some sort of danger to your child, the judge is not going to factor your dislike of the person into his or her custody decision.
Furthermore, even if your spouse cheated on you during your marriage, that in and of itself is not something that will have any weight on the judge’s award of custody unless it put the child in danger in some way. If your main disagreement with your spouse is between the two of you, but doesn’t affect the child’s welfare, then hiring a private investigator won’t be helpful.
How to Find a Private Investigator
If you truly know that your child’s other parent is unfit to raise him or her, then you need to handle things the right way. Consult with a lawyer who has experience working with private investigators and ask him or her for a recommendation. A poorly informed investigator who doesn’t know how to collect relevant evidence that is usable in court is simply a waste of money. Involve your lawyer in all your dealings with the PI so that he or she will be successful and within the legal confines of the law. You may want to visit to learn more about investigators doing this type of work.
Keep in mind that hiring a private investigator is the equivalent of declaring war. While good investigators try to do their job without tipping off whom they’re watching, things don’t always go as planned. Make sure that you have legitimate reasons to hire a PI and that he or she has the resources, methods and experience to help you make your case without letting your spouse know he or she is under surveillance. Most of all make sure that the PI does his or her job ethically so that their work doesn’t do more harm than good when you go to court.

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