Role of Private Investigators in Child Custody Cases

During a child custody investigation, it is important for the parent hiring the private investigator to understand the different types of child custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make legal decisions on behalf of the child. Physical custody refers to the parent with whom the child will live. Either type of custody may be sole or joint custody. Sole custody means that one parent has the primary role in the child’s life. Joint means that the parents share the responsibility of the type of custody that is at stake.

Different Roles

A private investigator often plays many different roles in a child custody investigation, including the following:

Interview Witnesses

A private investigator may interview witnesses who may be involved in the child’s life, including neighbors, teachers, counselors, parents of friends and other individuals.

Asset Search

Another important role that a private investigator has is to find assets that may be hidden. If the private investigator can find evidence of this nature, the client can argue that the other parent is attempting to shirk his or her financial obligations to the child.

Gather Evidence

Before a private investigator begins work on the project, he or she generally meets with the client to determine what type of information may be relevant to the case. For example, a parent may know that the other parent hires a babysitter during his or her scheduled time with the child. The person may want evidence that the other party has a romantic partner living with him or her and present during times with the children. Additionally, a private investigator may gather evidence of the parent’s drug or alcohol use when he or she is responsible for the children. In some situations, a private investigator may be able to show that the parent is neglecting or abusing the children.

In other situations, the parent may be concerned about what the other parent is doing during scheduled visits. He or she may be allowing the children to be up late at night and the child’s grades may suffer as a consequence.

A private investigator may take high quality pictures or video of the other parent. These pictures and videos are often taken in public places to avoid any privacy violation claims. Such locations may be in the front yard, park, grocery store or other locations where there is no expectation of privacy.

How Does a Family Court Determine If a Parent Is Unfit?

  • A history of child abuse.
  • A history of substance abuse.
  • A history of domestic violence.
  • The parent’s ability to make age-appropriate decisions for a child.
  • The parent’s ability to communicate with a child.
  • Psychiatric concerns.
  • The parent’s living conditions.
  • A history of domestic abuse; either physical or emotional.
  • A history of mental illness that could incapacitate the parent to care for the children adequately.
  • Unreasonable behaviour during the divorce process
  • Their ability to discipline children fairly
  • The quality of their house or neighbourhood where they live in a home that is unsafe for children to reside in
  • A history of criminal offences and/or imprisonment
  • A strongly negative attitude of the children towards the parent, or unwillingness to live with that parent

Parents with alcohol and drug problems

This planning and operational guidance is for directors of public health and commissioners and providers of adult alcohol and drug treatment and children and family services. The guidance outlines the main issues for families affected by parental alcohol and drug problems and shows how services can work together to support them.

In this guidance, ‘parents with problem alcohol and drug use’ refers to parents or carers of children whose alcohol or drug use causes, or has the potential to cause, harm to children. Dependent and non-dependent problematic use are both included in this definition.

Not all children of parents who use alcohol or drugs problematically will experience significant harm, but children growing up in these families are at a greater risk of adverse outcomes.

Research shows that problem alcohol and drug use can reduce parenting capacity and is a major factor in cases of child maltreatment. In 2019 to 2020, Department for Education (DfE) statistics on the characteristics of children in need found that parents using drugs was a factor in around 17% of child in need cases, and parental alcohol use was a factor in 16%.

DfE analysed serious case reviews between 2011 and 2014 also found that parental alcohol or drug use was recorded in over a third (36%) of serious case reviews carried out when a child has died or been seriously harmed.

The harms children experience can cause problems in the short term and later in life. Evidence shows that this includes intergenerational patterns of:

  • substance misuse
  • unemployment
  • offending behaviour
  • domestic abuse
  • child abuse and neglect

These problems can then cause further harm, as well as increasing the financial cost to the different agencies who work to support the people who experience harm.

Published 10 May 2021

Genetic Predisposition to Schizophrenia May Increase Risk of Psychosis From Cannabis Use – Neuroscience News

It has been long been known that cannabis users develop psychosis more often than non-users, but what is still not fully clear is whether cannabis actually causes psychosis and, if so, who is most at risk.

A new study published in Translational Psychiatry by researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and King’s College London helps shed light on both questions.

The research shows that while cannabis users had higher rates of psychotic experiences than non-users across the board, the difference was especially pronounced among those with high genetic predisposition to schizophrenia.

DMX – a life full of abuse and addiction

It’s easy to dismiss celebrity therapy shows for sensationalizing the trauma, mental health, or various addictions of the celebrities that agree to appear on them. After all, many of them consist solely of people made famous for appearing on… other reality shows. DMX and Tashera appeared on the first season of Couples Therapy alongside people like Linda Hogan, ex-wife of Hulk Hogan (who was on the show with her 30-years-younger boyfriend at the time), The Bachelor contestant Vienna Girardi, and Jersey Shore‘s Angelina Pivarnick. Why would a successful rapper deign to appear on a show like this with people who were not his peers but who were made famous by the reality TV machine?

Parental substance misuse

Parental substance misuse

‘Parental substance misuse’ is the long-term misuse of drugs and/or alcohol by a parent or carer.

This includes parents and carers who:

  • consume harmful amounts of alcohol (for example if their drinking is leading to alcohol-related health problems or accidents)
  • are dependent on alcohol
  • use drugs regularly and excessively
  • are dependent on drugs.

It also includes parents who aren’t able to supervise their children appropriately because of their substance use (NSPCC, 2018).

Most parents and carers who drink alcohol or use drugs do so in moderation, which doesn’t present an increased risk of harm to their children (Cleaver, Unell and Aldgate, 2011).

However, parents and carers who misuse substances can have chaotic, unpredictable lifestyles and may struggle to recognise and meet their children’s needs. This may result in their children being at risk of harm.

Breaking the cycle

Seeing the Invisible

Attachment experiences between caregiver and child are powerful sculptors of personality,
and become key determinants in how an individual relates to self, other and emotions over
a lifetime. When a child’s early attachment relationships are characterized by recurrent
“errors of omission” – neglect, deprivation, misattunement, and lack of affection,
recognition and/or affirmation — that child can develop areas of psychic darkness or
invisibility, in which parts of the self that are not seen and mirrored become dissociated.

Such children, and later adults, may struggle with chronic and profound feelings of
emptiness, detachment, unbearable aloneness, identity diffusion and avoidant attachment
patterns. Because such attachment wounds are, by their very nature, absences, they can
easily go undetected, leaving individuals who have lived through them with incomplete life
narratives. Such “invisible” traumas are hard to heal because they are hard to see, and
left unrecognized, can become self-perpetuating, both relationally and intra-relationally. In
this paper, we will explore the case of a woman who grew up in a family rife with errors of
omission. In addition to struggling with an avoidant attachment style, she also lived
through cycles of re-enactment — both with others and within herself — in which her
emotional needs went unrecognized and unmet. Relational and intra-relational
interventions aimed at forging new attachment bonds between 1. therapist and client, and

  • the client and an “invisible” part of her are illustrated. Recognition plays an essential
    role in creating these bonds and sparking deep emotional processing of grief.
    “What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
  • (The Little Prince, Saint-Exupery)
    “The existential need for recognition and the functional need for effective action on behalf
    of the self are powerful motives; they are both manifestations of transformance.”

Grace vs. Abuse

You (yes, you) need to read this…even if you’re not in an abusive situation.

You need to know where the line is between giving grace and accepting abuse, so you can help a friend or family member recognize it.

For millions of Americans, accepting abuse is an everyday occurrence. Statistics reveal around 10 million people suffer from physical abuse every year, which averages out to 20 people per minute. More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Abuse comes in many forms, including emotional/psychological, physical, financial, digital and sexual. Abusive patterns can lead to fear, anxiety and depression, and may escalate into stalking, harassment, or lethal violence.

The staggering statistics lead to an undeniable truth. Many people choose to stay in abusive relationships.


Perhaps the answer lies in a very subtle distinction that people often use to rationalize staying with an abusive partner: they want to extend grace, forgiveness and sympathy to the person they love.

But there’s more to a tough relationship than this. Empower yourself to find the best possible outcome for your life by knowing when to say “no” to your partner’s personality.

Supporting your child with a negative experience online

We want all children to have a safe and positive experience when they go online, but sometimes a child might be sent an image, video or message without their consent that upsets or confuses them. It can be hard to know what to say or do in these types of situations and that’s completely normal.

The Connection Between Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) reports that there is a “definite connection between mental illness and the use of addictive substances” and that mental health disorder patients are responsible for the consumption of:

  • 38 percent of alcohol
  • 44 percent of cocaine
  • 40 percent of cigarettes

NBER also reports that people who have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder at some point in their lives are responsible for the consumption of:

  • 69 percent of alcohol
  • 84 percent of cocaine
  • 68 percent of cigarettes

There’s clearly a connection between substance abuse and mental health disorders, and any number of combinations can develop, each with its own set of unique causes and symptoms, as well as its own appropriate intervention and Dual Diagnosis treatment methods. Which Dual Diagnosis treatment program is the best fit for your loved one? Continue reading “The Connection Between Mental Illness and Substance Abuse”