Private Investigators in Custody Cases: Is someone following YOU?
If you and your child’s father are caught up in any kind of litigation, you should live as though you have a private investigator following you. You probably don’t, but it’s never a bad idea to live as though your every move is going to be examined under a microscope.
These days, we don’t use private investigators so much to try to prove adultery. More and more often, we’re seeing (and using) private investigators in custody cases. Why? Well, simply put, there’s a lot more to gain in a custody case. Adultery can prevent a person from asking for spousal support, but it’s very hard to prove adultery in court and typically doesn’t affect equitable distribution (how the property is divided). If, on the other hand, you can prove that dad takes the kids with him to the bar, has his girlfriend sleep over while the kids are present, and passes out drunk on the sofa every night, you have some persuasive evidence to show to the judge. Private investigators can be very effective in custody cases.
If you’re interested in hiring a private investigator to help support your custody case, you should talk to your attorney first. It can be incredibly expensive to hire a private investigator (think of all the high tech equipment they use!), and you’ll want to make sure that this fits in with your overall case strategy. It’s also a good idea to let your attorney suggest a good private investigator for you. You’ll want someone with a good reputation and a good track record of catching these important moments on video or film, but you’ll also want someone who can testify well in court. Don’t risk hiring the wrong person. Always talk to your attorney BEFORE you make the decision to hire a private investigator.
But what if a private investigator is following you? Should you stay indoors and keep looking over your shoulder? Of course not! You should remember that, even though a private investigator would be someone who was hired by your husband, he could still be a good witness for you. I’ve seen cases where the private investigator was asked to testify about what mom was doing while he followed her, and all he could say was that she drove carpools, played with the kids in the yard, kissed them as they went off to school, baked cookies for the neighborhood kids…you get the idea. If you’re afraid that a private investigator may be following you, make sure this is the image you’re portraying to the world.
If you’re concerned that you may soon find yourself in a custody case, or even if you’re already in the middle of a custody case, it’s a good idea to think critically about the things that you do on a daily basis.