Child Custody
     
 
We are frequently asked to obtain evidence in child custody cases.  We do conduct these types of investigations but recommend you carefully consider the circumstances before hiring us or any investigator for this purpose.  The following are some considerations and frequently asked questions regarding these types of investigations.  Click on any of the links provided below.
 
 

Important

Lorenz Investigations provides the following information for the sole purpose of better explaining services we can provide.  We are not licensed attorneys and have no attorneys working for us.  The following information provided is not intended, nor should be substituted, for legal advice.  We always recommend and encourage potential clients to seek the advice of licensed attorney before hiring us.  We make no claim or guarantee that evidence we obtain can be used in court or that it will benefit you in court.  Admissibility of evidence can be determined only by your attorney and the court.  Always consult an attorney regarding any legal matter.

Regarding Lorenz Investigations

   
 

How do I prove someone is a bad parent?

Can I use evidence you obtain in a child custody hearing?

What type of evidence can you obtain for me?

Can you obtain evidence of drug or alcohol use?

How much time will it take to find the evidence?

How much will it cost to obtain useful evidence in a child custody hearing?

Can you follow my spouse?

How will I know when I have enough evidence?

Will proof of a cheating spouse help me get custody of my children?

Should I confront my spouse with the evidence?

Will you testify in court for me?

Will you communicate with my attorney regarding my case?

What about confidentiality and illegal activity?

What information do you need to get started?

   
         
 
How do I prove someone is a bad parent?

This can be a very difficult thing to prove.  There is no clear line between a good parent and a bad parent in most cases.  Each individual has different ideas about what characteristics make a good parent or a bad parent.  There are some characteristics that are easier to observe than others.  Examples of things that are observable may include drinking or drug use.  These things can be proven by observation and other forms of evidence gathering.  Sometimes we are asked to obtain evidence that a parent doesn't spend enough time with their children.  This is something that is difficult and time consuming.  The only way to show that someone is not spending time with their children is to spend a lot of time watching them, when they are not with their children.  We have been asked to provide evidence that a parent treats their children badly.  This is also something that can be difficult to do.  If this mistreatment takes place inside a home or behind closed doors, it may not be observable.  Many times the evidence we obtain provides support to other evidence already obtained by our clients.  With previous cases we have successfully obtained evidence of excessive alcohol abuse, illegal narcotics use, and poor parental judgment.  Each case is different and must be approached with a different strategy.

Can I use evidence you obtain in a child custody hearing?

The evidence we obtain is admissible in court.  Depending on the nature of the evidence, it can be a large part of the evidence presented during a proceeding.  However, how much this evidence will affect the outcome depends on different factors, including your attorneys use of the evidence and the judges perception of the evidence.  Your attorney can better explain the details and implications of using such evidence.

What type of evidence can you obtain for me?

We can provide any evidence, which is legally observable.  Sometimes, during child custody disputes, there are temporary court orders, stipulating that parents are not to engage in certain activities or abide by certain rules.  An example of such a rule might be that parents are not allowed to have overnight visitors of the opposite sex, while the children are with them.  We can verify that these rules are being followed.  Examples of evidence we may be able to provide include:

  • Illegal drug use.

  • Alcohol use or abuse.

  • Poor judgment such as leaving a young child in a running vehicle while entering a store.

  • A parents association with people of questionable character or criminal backgrounds.

  • Any habits or behaviors detectible by legal investigative techniques.

Can you obtain evidence of drug or alcohol use?

 

We have successfully obtained evidence of illegal narcotics use and alcohol abuse.  The difficulty in obtaining such evidence varies depending on the level and frequency of the use and abuse.  We have years of experience investigating illegal narcotics use and trafficking.  There are various techniques and tactics used to obtain such evidence depending on the type of drug and level of involvement with the drug.  Each case is different and sometimes this activity can take time to prove.  The photos below are part of a video from a child custody case.  We video taped a parent purchasing cocaine from a drug dealer.

 

 

 

How much time will it take to find the evidence?

 

It is impossible to say exactly how much time it will take to find evidence needed for a child custody dispute.  People normally hire us for 40 hours and we have usually been able to obtain the relevant information in that time period.  It depends on how much evidence you or your attorney need.  It also depends on the type of evidence.  If the evidence needed consists of habits or activity, it may take time document them.  Sometimes it may be necessary to show a pattern of a certain activity as opposed to a one time occurrence.

 

How much will it cost to obtain useful evidence in a child custody hearing?

 

The cost will be based on the amount of time required to obtain the evidence.  The more information you can provide regarding your spouse's activities, habits, behaviors, etc., the less time we have to spend conducting surveillance.  Unless you have specific information regarding when something will happen, there will be a certain amount of waiting time.  We will do everything we can, with your help, to predict when something is likely to happen but you must understand that there can be times when surveillance yields nothing.  It is important to understand we are paid by the hour, no matter what happens.  Sometimes it is necessary to wait hours to get 30 seconds of incriminating video.  We have three different rate plans depending on the amount of time we are hired.  Many people hire us for more than 20 or 40 hours.  We are flexible on the usage of these hours.  It is often not necessary to burn up all of the hours in one week if there is no activity to observe.

 

Can you follow my spouse?

Yes we can follow your spouse.  The more important question is can we do it without being detected.  Normally we can, however, there are circumstances, which can affect how difficult this can be.  Conducting mobile surveillance is not like what you see in the movies.  We can't just glue ourselves to somebody's bumper and follow them all around town without being noticed.  Some of the circumstances that can affect the difficulty of following any person include, traffic, location (city or country), the distance traveled, and the person's level of suspicion or heightened awareness.  People become more aware of their surroundings when they are doing something wrong.  In the past some of our clients have asked us to follow their spouse soon after having an argument with them or even after threatening to have them followed, failing to let us know this information.  This makes our job difficult if not impossible and cost our clients money in wasted time.  In one case we were contacted by a client who, one hour earlier, told her spouse she was going to hire a private investigator to have him followed.  You cannot threaten to have someone followed and then expect that it can be done successfully soon thereafter.  This type of activity must be planned and all of the circumstances mentioned above must be considered before attempting mobile surveillance.  Even with all of the planning in the world, sometimes surveillance must be aborted due to circumstances beyond our control.

How will I know when I have enough evidence?

The amount of evidence will depend on the decision made by you and/or your attorney.  If the evidence is being used in a court case, your attorney should be able to tell you if there is enough evidence to assist you.  If you are acting on your own, then it is up to you.  You have to ask yourself whether or not your question has been answered or your suspicions eliminated.

Will proof of a cheating spouse help me get custody of my children?

Possibly.  All of the actions and character traits of both parents can be brought to light during a child custody dispute.  Cheating can be shown, and does often affect, not only the other spouse but the children as well.  The effect of such evidence depends on the judge, your attorney, and the circumstances surrounding the cheating activity as it relates to the welfare of the children.  Your attorney can best answer this question for you.

Should I confront my spouse with the evidence?

This is a decision you will have to make and it depends on what you want to accomplish.  If the evidence is currently being used or will be used in court, you should first contact an attorney before confronting your spouse.  You should also consider your spouse's reaction to this confrontation and in all cases consider your safety first.  If your spouse has been violent in the past or you believe your spouse will react violently, you should avoid any situation in which a confrontation may lead to violence.  It may be necessary for you to seek professional assistance in some cases.  In any emergency you should immediately contact the police.  If you need advice or other assistance you can contact the local families in crisis center.

Will you testify for me in court?

Once we obtain evidence for you we will testify in court to support the evidence.  We will testify only to what evidence we discovered.  We will absolutely not lie or misrepresent evidence in order to further our client's case.  Our reputation is important to us and we will never jeopardize that.  Our fee for testimony in court will be the same rate plan used during the investigation.  Our clients are billed for the time spent testifying and the time waiting to testify outside the courtroom, regardless of the outcome of the case.

Will you communicate with my attorney regarding my case?

If you and your attorney agree, we will communicate directly with your attorney.  Most of the time we communicate only with our client who then passes along the evidence or information to their attorney.  Your attorney may ask you to sign a document giving your attorney permission to communicate with us regarding your case.  This matter should be worked out between you and your attorney.

What about confidentiality and illegal activity?

All of our work for our clients in confidential.  We will not discuss our work with any person without your permission.  There is one exception to this rule.  We will absolutely not allow any person to be physically injured or endangered in any way and we will not allow our clients to violate the law.  If we suspect that our client intends to harm another person or violate the law in any way, we will report the client to the police and assist the police in the prosecution of the client.  We will also immediately take action to warn any person that may be in danger.  This includes releasing all information, evidence, and documents regarding our original agreement.

What information do you need to get started?

In order for us to get started we will need as much information as possible about you and your spouse and the circumstances surrounding the child custody dispute.  It is helpful, during the initial consultation,  to provide us with your spouse's license plate numbers, addresses, phone numbers, employment, friends, habits, pictures or physical description of you spouse and children, or any information that will help us know when, where, and how to begin surveillance.