• Makeup break: my friends child custody battle

    suzies-child-custody-battleHey everyone, I am going to start a new section of my blog called “Makeup Break”. I have more going on in my life lately than eyeshadow and mascara, and I want a place on my website to blog about it. This past month has been IN-SANE.

    My girlfriend Suzie is going through a harrowing battle with her ex over custody of their 2-year old son. Suzie and I know that he’s a dirtbag and she would take better care of their child, but we are worried the court will be swayed by his business success and smooth-talking style. What the judge won’t see is his late-night party lifestyle and cocaine habit. UNLESS… we hire a private investigator 🙂

    This idea prompted a week of research on the topic. Here’s what I found out:

    Why do people hire investigators during child custody battles?

    Child custody investigations can protect your child from danger and abuse. For example, during parental divorce or separation a child custody investigator can help make sure that your child is going into a safe and loving environment. The court or a parent can hire a child custody investigator to find out what the child’s experience is like with the custodial or non-custodial parent. Sometimes these investigations can reveal and help prevent abuse and neglect of the child or parental drug or alcohol abuse. In some cases, many private investigators can even save your child’s life.

    Every good parent knows that there’s nothing more important than your child’s safety, security and well-being. Every parent, especially if the couple is separated wants to know that their child is taken care of and is given proper financial, love and attention.

    Getting an unfair advantage in court

    In court divorce proceedings the one who hires a private child custody investigator is the parent who wins. The information a parent may acquire in the process of this investigation can determine the child’s safety and quality of life forever. If you’re thinking of hiring an investigator you must do so as soon as the custody battle begins, because after the court order this opportunity can be lost forever.

    How does it work?

    A child custody investigator is a variation in the field of private investigation. Usually in cases with children, they are hired to find out and document what goes on the child’s surroundings when they are with the other parent or guardian. These can be both court-ordered or privately ordered. Child custody investigators can use video and audio devices to collect evidence, which suggests whether a child is being neglected or badly treated and whether the parent or guardian is fit to be around that child. Investigations would also reveal whether a parent has any bad habits such as drug or alcohol abuse, which can affect the child’s well-being. Investigators also can speak to witnesses such as neighbors and school teachers and can solicit witness to testify in court.

    My thoughts: “Oh, they collect evidence, like photos of people doing drugs and the like? Bingo.”

    Based on the evidence collected by child custody investigators the parent or the court can decide what to do to ensure child’s safety. This seems too easy.

    Support for Suzie!

    There’s nothing worse than losing your child in a custody battle. The child should always remain in the custody of a more qualified parent and by hiring a private child custody investigator it can be your one and only to do so. Private investigators are able to protect children from improper and dangerous environments and situations and ensure that the child gets the best treatment and care possible with a fit for purpose parent.

    What the Judge will consider…

    There are a number of factors the court would consider before making the final decision and your investigator can help you with gathering all the information and evidence needed. Some of the factors the court will consider are:

    • Basic parenting skills
    • History of substance abuse in a parent
    • History of violent behavior in a parent
    • Morality of the parent
    • Parent’s mental health and stability
    • Financial standing
    • Criminal records and activity
    • Care and affection showed to the child

    And those are just to name a few! A good child custody investigator will offer surveillance services in forms of video and audio recordings, witness interviews and extensive background checks. And maybe he can snap a few pictures of the ex’s new lady friend so I can see how good her skin looks…? Kidding, sort of.

    Firstly, surveillance will help identify the living conditions and treatment of the child. It will help identify any third parties the child comes in contact with and their effect on the child’s well-being.

    Secondly, investigators will interview witnesses such as doctors, relatives, nannies, schoolteachers, relatives and neighbors to get a good understanding and produce a profile on the parent in question. They will also conduct extensive background checks on everyone who comes into contact with the child when they are in custody. Investigators can testify themselves and solicit witnesses to give evidence in court.

    How to determine if you need a child custody investigator?

    In Suzie’s case, it was a gut feeling that she had. But you don’t necessarily have to be going through a divorce to hire a child welfare investigator. Any parent or grandparent can hire an investigator if there are any suspicions that the child might be maltreated. Unfortunately, children don’t tend to speak out against or tell anyone of their abusers due to fear and embarrassment, so it is up to the adults to be highly vigilant and take action if necessary. Any evidence in cases like this can be presented in court, to child abuse prevention services or child protection officers and the police.

    child-custody-journeyPreparing for a court battle which involves children and executing the battle plan is a very lengthy, emotional and in some cases a very dramatic and stressful process for everyone involved. All that said, there’s no price on your child’s happiness and safety. Most of the parents will want to make it as painless and as un-invasive to their child’s life as possible. However in our time counting on being determined as a “good parent” and relying solely on the close bond with you child is rarely enough.

    The court will take into account hard evidence and not a sob story. Judges can’t see for themselves how you interact with your child, how you care and provide for them. They will need to see proof that you are in fact the more stable and reliable parent. This is why you need to prove your case.

    You must take preparation for the custodial battle very seriously and use all your resources to make sure your child gets the best care and life possible. Nobody else is going to work as hard as you can to protect your child! Firstly, find a good reliable lawyer who specifically deals with child custody cases. A generic divorce lawyer might not be quite enough. A good lawyer will have a list of highly qualified and experienced child custody investigators and will help point you in the right direction. They will also help you prepare all the legal documentation and self-assessment papers required for the hearings and stand by you every step of the way in ensuring a good and prosperous future for you and your child.

    Going through a custody battle is scary especially considering what is at stake. However, by familiarizing yourself with the process and reaching out to child custody investigators you will massively maximize your chances of winning this battle.