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Should you hire a PI to help you get child custody?

Back in the day, before no-fault divorce became prevalent, people who could afford to would sometimes hire private investigators (PIs) to collect evidence proving that their spouse was engaged in adultery or other wrongdoing. While people generally don’t gain an advantage in divorce by showing that their spouse was misbehaving, some spouses still consider hiring a PI to help them battle their spouse or ex-spouse in court.

Some people consider using a PI to find evidence that their spouse is hiding assets, either to avoid dividing them in the divorce or paying their fair share of spousal or child support. Others want a PI to find evidence that their estranged spouse or partner is not a fit parent to get greater custody rights.

What can a PI do?

If you believe your co-parent is living a life that’s not safe or healthy for your child, a PI can keep an eye on them (and possibly their interactions with your child), from a distance. They may talk to neighbors, co-workers, friends and others in their orbit.

A PI can also search court and police records to find any activity that a spouse has failed to disclose, like a DUI arrest, that may be relevant to their ability to parent. They can do background checks on new significant others if a co-parent is concerned about whom their child is exposed to when they’re with the other parent.

The problems with hiring a PI

It’s generally not wise for someone to hire a PI to spy on their co-parent. Even if they’re properly licensed, a PI who’s not good at what they do or not used to this kind of case can make things worse. If the co-parent finds out about them, there’s only going to be more animosity and conflict. Further, you never know how a judge is going to react. They may not like this tactic and even see the other parent as a victim.

The best course of action is to let your legal team determine whether a PI’s services are necessary and, if so, choose the person for the job. A benefit of having experienced legal guidance is that it will help you make decisions based on facts rather than emotions. That’s critical when it comes to your child’s well-being and achieving a favorable outcome to a family law situation.



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