Shadowy figures planting bugs on cars and tailing people from a distance. Gruff ex-cops who wear fedoras and long, tan coats while chainsmoking cigarettes.
We all know the stereotypes.
But PIs are quite a bit more common than you might think and help with a ton of everyday situations from catching cheating spouses to aiding parents looking to gain custody of their children.
If you’re thinking of hiring a private investigator for child custody purposes, you might not know where to start. That’s where we come in!
Keep reading to find out how you can find an investigator to help with your custody battle!
Know What You’re Looking For
There are risks of hiring a private investigator, particularly if you don’t have any existing dirt on your ex.
Before starting your search, you’ll want to put together a brief document explaining the situation and why you think your ex may be an unfit parent. Make sure to note anything that you’ve documented in your divorce filings, such as erratic behavior or drug use.
While a child custody private investigator can certainly dig up dirt on a subject, the more they know going into a case the better. That way, they can spend their time looking for the problems you’ve noted, allowing you to get results faster.
Consider Your Budget
Make no mistake, hiring a private investigator can cost quite a bit. The average investigator costs between $80 and $90 per hour, with experienced investigators charging more.
In rare cases, you can find investigation services that offer flat rates.
You’ll need to keep your finances in mind before beginning the investigation. An investigation takes dozens of hours in most cases, so prepare to pay at least a few thousand dollars.
The findings of a private investigator are admissible in court. With that said, you’ll need to find someone who works in a professional manner and acts within the law.
If the PI you hire skirts certain boundaries, such as violating basic privacy laws, the use of an investigator could work against you, causing you to lose the case.
At best, you’d lose custody of your children. At worst, you could face more legal issues should your spouse press charges.
Online reviews are a great way to learn about a particular agency’s methodology and results. Believe it or not, you can find a ton of results just by heading to Google and typing in ‘private investigator for child custody near me’.
Try to read a variety of reviews, both positive and negative. And pay attention to how they respond to negative reviews.
Remember, you need someone professional in your corner, not someone who is going to fly off the handle due to a bad Yelp review.
How to Find a Private Investigator for Child Custody Purposes
Finding a private investigator for child custody purposes can be emotionally and financially draining. To make the process easier, keep these tips in mind.
And if you’re looking for more tips to help with your custody case, check out the rest of the legal content on our blog.