Use of a divorce private investigator
We had recently gotten custody of 4 children at a temporary hearing last December, 2012 for Dad. Almost immediately, and unbeknownst to our client, Mom retained a divorce private investigator to conduct continual surveillance on Dad.
We had warned our client that a divorce private investigator may be utilized by mom, and he was living an exemplary life by all accounts. Regardless, after 7 MONTHS of surveillance the investigator wrote a 100 page report detailing every aspect of Dad’s life in the most negative light. Mom brought a motion to change custody based on the allegations in the investigator’s report. After two nasty hearings, we prevailed an no change of custody was ordered. However, defending this motion cost our client over $10,000 in legal fees and great emotional stress.
You can not prevent your spouse from hiring an investigator and conducting this kind of surveillance. However, if you are in a contested divorce or custody case, you should at all times imagine and expect you are under surveillance. Live your life during the litigation like you are on the “Truman Show”, where every aspect of your daily life is being video recorded. A few suggestions: don’t yell, don’t get angry at your kids (or anyone, especially your spouse), don’t go to bars or dance with members of the opposite sex, keep your yard and home clean and neat, attend church or synagogue if you are a believer (and bring the kids if you can), get the kids in counseling with a therapist (if you have custody), stay on top of the children’s schoolwork and meet with their teachers, and make sure you go to all of their doctor and dentist appointments. Make sure that the children’s teachers, counselors, dentists and doctors know who you are, that you are involved with your kids and that you are available to speak with them if need be.
Our client followed our advise and, although it did not prevent a motion to change custody, did help him to prevail in the end.