How to win child custody? A private investigator can help.

The primary focus of any child custody case should be the physical and emotional wellbeing of the child. Unfortunately, the tense and heated relationship between two current or former spouses can create cliched courtroom drama - which is exactly what you want to avoid. If you are wondering how to win child custody, the most important issues are whether or not you have a solid case against your former spouse and whether you have the evidence to prove it. It is a good idea to understand the court's standpoint in order to have your ducks in a row when you go to visit your lawyer. The more organized documentation you have, the more smoothly your case will proceed.

Tips on How to Win Child Custody

  1. California's Criteria for an Unfit Parent. The first step is to have a very clear understanding of California's criteria for an unfit parent. These criteria are listed in Family Code 7820-7829. The most common situations would be:
    • Child abandonment - a parent in question has not provided support, regular communication, or spent physical time with the child for a calendar year or more.
    • Child endangerment - during time spent with the other parent the child is harmed or endangered in some way.
    • Disability. If a parent is mentally or physically unable to take care of the child, or make rational decisions, it can be grounds for losing custodial rights. This includes parents who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  2. Gathering evidence. Here is where it gets sticky; now you have to obtain evidence that will stand up in court. It is essential that you keep your cool with the judge and do not get involved in battles of "he said/she said." This is all too common and judges who practice family law hear the same things over and over every day. The most solid pieces of evidence include :
    • Surveillance photos/videos. Surveillance photos and/or surveillance videos of the parent's behavior while the child is in his/her custody provide proof of their actions and/or behavior.
    • Photo, video, or audio recordings of physical and/or verbal abuse. Proof of physical and/or emotional abuse is one of the fastest ways to gain full custody of a child. The abuse may also be at the hands of the parent's significant other or extended family members.
    • Medical files. Medical records which document signs of physical abuse or trauma are solid evidence of a dangerous pattern.
    • Criminal Records. The parent's criminal record can be held against them in terms of child custody arrangements.
    • Correspondence. Any documented correspondence between you and the other parent can be filed as evidence. This is another reason why you should be on your best behavior at all times, especially if you are seeking child custody. You do not want an emotional slip-up on your part to become evidence against you!
  3. Fill out the appropriate forms. As part of the legal process, you will be required to fill out a series of forms. These forms will depend on your particular situation. It may be wise to seek legal counsel, if you haven't already, to make sure you do everything to the letter of the law. Look for an attorney who is a Certified Family Law Specialist. If you have already put together an organized file of evidence, your lawyer will be pleased because the hardest part may be behind you.

Hire a Private Investigator to Get Evidence You Need to Win Child Custody

Hiring a private investigator is one of the best things you can do to get professional evidence that is admissible in a court of law. A licensed private investigator can use surveillance services and thorough computer searches to acquire almost all of the information you need. Consider the following scenarios:

National Criminal Background Check - A complete background check will include a national criminal background check. It's a good place to start, even if you feel your partner doesn't have a criminal record. You may be surprised what turns up. Also important is uncovering criminal records of other people your ex has around the children.

Surveillance Services. Whether the other parent is leaving the child in the care of others while it's their turn for custody visitation or they are hitting the bars on a regular basis, or participating in illegal activities, well orchestrated surveillance services can obtain the photo/video evidence you need to prove it.

Is the other parent cohabitating with (Living with) someone who should not be around your child? Do the court orders state that this is not allowed? Are you aware of these areas that can have a dramatic effect on child custody? We are. We have changed the outcome of thousands of divorces with our surveillance services. You should receive a detailed, professionally written report that documents any activities effecting the custody of your children.

Asset Check. If the other parent has claimed s/he is unable to pay child support but you feel otherwise, we can run an asset check to see if anything turns up that they aren't telling the courts. If nothing else, this can be a great way to increase child support payments.

There is no worse feeling than knowing your child's wellbeing is at stake. These tips can help you to begin the process of making sure your child is safe and well cared for again.

Mike Garroutte, owner of Linked Investigations is a California licensed Private Investigator in Los Angeles and Orange County. His surveillance services have helped thousands of parents to insure their children's safety. Contact Linked Investigations if you need a child custody investigator, or would like referrals to a southern California family law specialist.

Published on: 
December 1, 2012
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