I am considering hiring a private investigator to gather evidence that 50/50 parenting time with children is not utilized. The 50/50 parenting time is demanded by one parent then children are given to family, friends, or care providers rather than staying with the parent during their parenting time. What are some specific types of evidence that weigh more heavily with judges in court cases? Would hiring a private investigator make a parent look unfavorable to a judge?
Different judges interpret this issue differently. On the one hand, only a child's parents have the right to parenting time; a parent's family members have no enforceable right to that time themselves, and the argument can be made that parenting time therefore 'should' be for the parent, and if they're not using it they don't need it. On the other hand, most judges also will tell you that your co-parent has the right to do whatever they want with their child during their parenting time (so long as it's not dangerous or illegal, of course), and you have no right whatsoever to dictate that. You and your co-parent may have totally different ideas about what is good parenting: you want your child to be constantly supervised and doing activities, and your co-parent lets them watch TV all the time; and that's just how it is, and neither of you gets to tell the other what to do in this respect.
For that reason, it's possible that a court is not going to care too much about this evidence, even if the PI finds what you're hoping they do. Ultimately, the argument about custody and parenting time is based on the child's best interests, and the general principles there are: give the child stability and continuity, and ensure that they have the opportunity for regular ongoing contact with both parents. You're not going to be able to cut the other parent out of that, even if they seem to be letting other people use 'their' time instead.
Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and are not intended to constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or solicit business. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. Information not contained in these posts may create significant exceptions to the advice provided in any response. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br>
Say what? You are handling this custody case by yourself, aren't you? DON'T HIRE A PI!!!!!!!! If your attorney believes there is value in hiring one, he/she will choose the PI. In twenty-eight years of practicing family law, I have NEVER seen a case where a PI's information was useful. Once, my client hired a PI without my knowledge, then gave me his video tape. IT WAS WORTHLESS FOR MY CLIENT'S CASE. Moreover, the judge viewed him as stalking his ex.
Be sure to designate "best answer." Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 27 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.
Before hiring an investigator, consider other ways of proving your case: deposition, interview children, talking to the the people who keep the children.
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