If you are going through a divorce and have small children, you are presumably hoping that the custody dispute (if there is one) turns out favorably for you. As established Tampa child custody private investigators, we have been a part of countless custody cases. Here are a few things that any parent vying for custody should know.
Courts Favor What’s Best for the Child
Laws that govern marriage, divorce, and family vary from state to state. Florida courts tend to encourage joint custody or shared responsibility. (Technically, the term “custody” is no longer used in Florida, as the state changed the official terminology in 2011. However, many people still use the term “custody” and we will do so for the sake of clarity.)
Reasons a Parent Could Gain Sole Custody
Since the court encourages joint custody, sole custody is typically only awarded in more extreme cases. Parents can lose custody if there is evidence of:
- Domestic violence
- Sexual violence
- Child abuse
- Vermin or mold in the home
- Illegal activities
- Drug use
- Unsafe neighborhood
Also, parents should know that false accusations of any of the above (or accusations of a different crime/incompetence) can result in the accusing parent losing custody. Falsely accusing your spouse or partner of something is traumatizing for the child and illegal. On a somewhat less severe note, talking badly about the other parent can also backfire. A parent may lose some or all of their rights if they repeatedly try to alienate their child from the other parent when the court has ordered co-parenting. This includes saying negative things about the other parent and trying to make your child angry at them.
What If My Partner is Lying?
Perhaps your soon-to-be ex is unfit to raise your child. Maybe they are abusive, on drugs, or emotionally damaging. Maybe they are making false accusations against you and you feel helpless.
When it’s your word against theirs, you need proof. This is where hiring a private investigator comes into play. When you work with a Tampa private investigator for child custody cases, they can uncover dishonesty on the part of the other parent and give you evidence to unveil the lie in court. A private investigator will also document important information, interview witnesses, and perform background checks.
There is nothing more powerful than the truth, whether it means knowing your child is okay at the other parent’s house or it confirms (and provides evidence of!) your worst suspicions. If the latter is the case, having documentation can make a night and day difference in a custody case. More importantly, if something drastic is occurring, you will be able to immediately remove your child from harm’s way.