The process of a divorce and deciding on a custody arrangement can be very hard on children and parents alike. It is not uncommon for parents to have disagreements over custody and visitation. It is also not uncommon for parents to petition a court to change custody arrangements. In determining which parent or relative gets primary custody of a child or visitation rights, or whether an existing child custody decree should be modified or changed, courts look at what is in the “best interests of the child.”
The “best interest of the child standard” takes into account the suitability of one parent over the other and in making this determination courts look at many factors. Some of those factors include:
- The parents’ physical and mental health.
- Evidence of the abuse of drugs (including prescribed drugs) or alcohol.
- Involvement in criminal activity past or present.
- History of erratic behavior.
- The moral habits of the parents.
- The depth, quality, and nature of the relationship between a parent and child.
- History of excessive discipline or emotional abuse.
- The need for a stable home environment.
- The opportunity to spend time with extended family members.
- Religious or sensitive cultural considerations.
- The possibility of moving and adjusting to a new neighborhood or school.
If you hope to convince a court that you deserve primary custody or more visitation time, you need facts and documentation to support your case. It is not sufficient to state innuendo, or use conjecture or second hand knowledge to try and establish a fact.
Facts are established by witnesses and documents. Babnick and Associates can help you discover and prove facts that are otherwise difficult to prove. And, if needed, the investigator can come to court and present the facts and testify on your behalf.
Some parents might think that hiring a private investigator to “investigate” the other parent is somehow underhanded or gaining an unfair advantage. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Hiring an investigator to find out the truth is not about “digging up dirt” on the other parent. It is about obtaining evidence that is relevant to the case. Decisions made by judges will affect your life and the life of your child or children for the rest of their lives. For a court to make a decision that is truly in the best interest of the child, the court needs all available information.
Babnick and Associates understands that these investigations are extremely sensitive and must be conducted so as not to tip off the other party. Once we complete the investigation we give all the information and documents obtained during the investigation to you and no one else. Once you have the results of the investigation you and or your attorney can decide what to use in your child custody case. Even if the investigation does not turn up any verifiable evidence or if you elect not to use the information obtained, you have the peace of mind knowing that you did everything you could do to ensure that your child or children are safe and have the best possible environment to live and grow up in.