Whether your ex-partner has legal custody of your child, or you have decided on a co-parenting routine, you want to provide a comfortable environment for your child that supports their physical, mental, and emotional growth. However, there may be instances where you may have concerns about their safety.
Your worries may increase exponentially if your ex-partner has a history of substance abuse or engaged in domestic violence, so you may not want to leave your child under their care. Hence, you should consider hiring a private investigator for a child custody investigation.
A child custody investigation can prove effective when you have suspicions that the level and quality of care being provided by the other party or parent is sub-standard, or worse, potentially harmful. You can verify your suspicions through an investigation and appeal in court with relevant evidence.
The initial days of parents’ separation are extremely hard for a child. They may feel insecure and get irritated at small things. They may struggle with focusing on their academic commitments and can refuse to stay with the custodial parent to protest against the decision.
Your child may need time to accept the new arrangement, but this unusual behaviour may also point towards a bigger issue. It may indicate they don’t feel safe with your ex-partner.
Under such circumstances, they may ask to stay with you and create a fuss when it’s time to return home.
Signs of Neglect or Abuse
If you think your ex-partner may be physically abusive or neglects your child, then pay attention to signs of physical abuse. If the child often seems to have bruises or scratches and complains about pain in limbs, then don’t ignore it. It’s common for them to hide details about how they got bruises since they are too afraid to talk about it.
If your former partner neglects their needs, then you may notice the child seems tired and displays clear signs of neglect such as being unusually hungry, wearing dirty clothes, or they may complain about a lack of sound sleep.
If your child returns home after visits with signs of physical abuse, make sure you see a doctor and maintain medical reports as evidence.
You can communicate your worries with the custodial parent before committing to a custody investigation.
When a child experiences physical or mental abuse at a young age, their mental health and growth is affected. Since they don’t know how to share their problems with others, they may behave the same way with others and may bully their classmates in some cases.
For instance, they may display disproportionate anger when anything goes against their wishes, including being physically and verbally abusive towards other people.
Gossip about Your Ex-Partner
You shouldn’t believe every piece of gossip you hear about your ex-partner, but if your close social circle informs you about their unethical activities such as engaging in activities such as substance abuse or their friendship with suspicious people, then you should probe into the matter in the best interest of your child’s welfare and safety.
When a couple gets separated, the court either decides a co-parenting set-up or awards custody to the parent who is financially stable and can provide a suitable environment for the well-being of the child. Since the verdict is reached after a thorough investigation and court ruling, the separated couple must abide by it.
However, circumstances may change over time and the behaviour, activities, and financial status of your ex-partner can take a turn for the worse or better. So, if you have concerns that your child would be unsafe with them, then it may be a good idea to hire a PI for a child custody investigation.
First, make sure the concerns are genuine and refrain from making false accusations against your ex-partner due to any lingering bitter feelings, since the investigation will reveal the truth and false allegations may discredit your case from a legal perspective.
If they were abusive towards you in the past, make sure you maintain the record of medical reports as well as statements of those who were aware of your circumstances. An experienced private investigator can assist you in collecting relevant and reliable evidence.
Evidence of Criminal Activity
If your ex-partner is involved in substance abuse or gambles, then a custody investigation can provide supporting evidence. The investigation report may also provide definite evidence of reckless driving, assault, or other criminal activities.
The PI would conduct surveillance to monitor their activities throughout the day and may look for signs of unethical or criminal behaviour. When the child is with them, they would keep an eye to identify any evidence or hints of abusive behaviour or neglect and report their findings in the investigation report.
During the course of the investigation, Private Investigators would talk to the day care service to check whether your infant or child has any signs of abuse and enquire about the behaviour of the custodial parent.
For older children, they may talk to teachers to enquire about the general behaviour of the child and their educational performance, ask whether they seem afraid, or if they display abusive behaviour at school.
Furthermore, they may conduct witness interviews by talking to neighbours, friends, and relatives of the child to get information about their living conditions.
Look into Financial Assets
Aside from monitoring the activities of the custodial parent as part of a custody investigation, a private investigator also collects evidence in regard to the financial stability of the co-carer / parent and their capability to provide for the child. This may include looking into the financial assets of the custodial parent.
The evidence may highlight if they are still financially stable to support the child. However, when it comes to a child support investigation, the purpose of asset tracing is to identify if the co-carer’s / parent’s assets or income have changed, and that they may be hiding the information to save support money and deprive the child of their rights.
For more information about the Child Custody Investigation process, feel free to reach out to our team. We are available 24/7!