Can My Private Investigator Provide Evidence In My Child Custody Case?

Cases involving the custody of children can be emotionally taxing as well as difficult to understand. When it comes to assessing what is in a kid’s best interests, the courts may take into consideration a variety of criteria. One of these elements is the ability of each parent to meet the psychological and logistical requirements of their child.

In certain situations, parents may decide to retain the services of a private investigator in order to compile evidence that could potentially bolster their case for custody of their child. Is it possible for a private investigator to actually give evidence in a dispute over child custody? Let’s study this subject further.

What is the role of a private investigator in a child custody case?

Individuals or businesses might retain the services of a person known as a private investigator (PI) to carry out investigations on their behalf. A private investigator could be engaged by one of the parents in a dispute over child custody to collect information about the other parent’s way of life, behavior, finances, and ability to parent the child.

When it comes to deciding child custody, it is not the job of a private investigator to convince the judge in favor of one parent over the other. Instead, it is their responsibility to gather facts and convey it in an unbiased manner to the best of their ability. It is possible for attorneys to make use of the material acquired by private investigators during court procedures or talks that take place outside of court.

What kind of evidence can a PI provide in a child custody case?

A PI can provide various types of evidence that could potentially impact the outcome of a child custody case. Some examples include:

  • Surveillance footage: A PI may conduct surveillance on the other parent to document their behavior and activities.
  • Financial records: A PI may investigate the other parent’s finances to determine if they have any undisclosed sources of income or assets.
  • Witness testimony: A PI may interview witnesses who have information relevant to the case.
  • Background checks: A PI may conduct background checks on individuals involved in the case, such as new partners or caretakers for the children.

It’s important to note that not all evidence gathered by a PI will necessarily be admissible in court. The admissibility of evidence depends on various factors, such as how it was obtained and whether it meets certain legal standards.

Can evidence from a PI impact the outcome of a child custody case?

The impact that evidence from a PI can have on the outcome of a child custody case depends on various factors. For example:

  • The relevance of the evidence: The more directly relevant the evidence is to issues related to parenting abilities and/or fitness, financial stability (ability), health status etc., the more likely it will be considered.
  • The credibility of the source: If evidence comes from an unreliable source or was obtained illegally or unethically it might not hold up well under scrutiny
  • The weight given by judge/evaluator: Ultimately, judges/evaluators are responsible for making decisions based on what they believe is in the best interests of children involved

It’s also worth noting that even if evidence from a PI does impact the outcome of your child custody case, there are no guarantees about what that outcome will be. Courts must consider many factors when determining what arrangement will serve the best interest(s) of children involved.

Are there any limitations when using evidence from PIs in child custody cases?

Yes – there are several limitations associated with using evidence gathered by PIs in child custody cases:

  1. Legality issues: If any illegal methods were used while gathering information – such as breaking into someone’s property – then this would make any subsequent findings unusable in court
  2. Privacy concerns: There are certain areas where people have an expectation of privacy such as bedrooms/bathrooms which cannot typically be monitored without warrant
  3. Admissibility rules: Not all jurisdictions allow all types/sources of private investigation; moreover most family courts prefer first-hand observations over hearsay.
  4. Cost: Hiring PIs can get expensive very quickly which makes them an option only for those who can afford them

Additionally even if you do obtain useful information through your own efforts or those you hire like PIs – you should always consult with your attorney before taking any action based upon them.

How to Find The Right PI For You

Finding the right private investigator (PI) for your needs can be a daunting task. Here are some tips to help you find the right PI for you:

Research: Do your research and look for PIs in your area who specialize in the type of investigation that you need. You can start by checking online directories, asking for recommendations from friends or family members, or contacting local associations of private investigators.

Credentials: Make sure that the PI you choose is licensed and insured. Check with your state’s licensing board to verify their credentials and ensure that they have a good standing within the industry.

Experience: Look for a PI who has experience in handling cases similar to yours. Ask them about their previous cases and how they were able to successfully resolve them.

Communication: Choose a PI who communicates effectively and keeps you informed throughout the investigation process. They should be willing to answer any questions you may have and provide regular updates on their progress.

Fees: Understand what fees will be charged upfront before hiring any private investigator, as rates can vary widely based on location, experience level, complexity of case etc. Be wary of those who offer “too good to be true” pricing options or ask for large sums up front without being clear about what services they will provide.

Ethics: Choose an ethical PI who follows all laws, rules, regulations and industry standards when conducting investigations – this includes obtaining necessary permissions/warrants before accessing certain types of information or conducting surveillance activities.

By following these tips, you can find a reputable private investigator who will provide quality services while respecting confidentiality concerns related to sensitive legal matters such as child custody disputes or divorce litigation etc..


Hiring private investigators has become increasingly common within contested divorce litigation especially when issues involving children are at play . While they can certainly help uncover valuable facts and details relevant to your family law matter , hiring investigators isn’t always necessary nor appropriate for every situation .

If you’re considering hiring an investigator , make sure you speak with an experienced family law attorney first so you fully understand what type(s) of investigations might benefit your particular situation ,and whether obtaining additional facts through investigative means would actually help achieve goals related to parenting time/custody arrangements etc..

Ultimately, having solid documentation supporting your claims regarding parenting abilities/stability etc., can strengthen your position during negotiations/litigation but Judges/Evaluators still retain discretion over how much weight they give different pieces/types/sources of evidence presented before them.

At Whitesell Investigative Services, we understand that the information a private investigator can uncover is invaluable, but we also want to help ensure you get the most out of your investment. 

We offer top-notch investigative services and work with our clients to develop customized solutions so they can reach their desired outcomes in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Contact us today for professional help!