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
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:
use or abuse.
such as leaving a young child in a running vehicle while
entering a store.
association with people of questionable character or
habits or behaviors detectible by legal
Can you obtain evidence of drug or
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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.