6 Key Considerations when Hiring a Child Custody Private Investigator

According to figures from the US Census Bureau, approximately 13.4 million single parents live with 22.1 million children under 21 years of age. Some of these parents are divorcees who won child custody battles against their spouses. However, child custody cases can be nasty and drag for months. As such, if you are facing a child custody battle, you should hire a child custody private investigator to collect evidence that you can use to prove your claims in court. Some of the key considerations when hiring a private investigator to help with a child custody court battle include:


Before proceeding further, it is worth noting that licensing requirements vary from state to state. For instance, private investigations in Florida must comply with the legal guidelines stipulated in Chapter 493 of state statutes as well as Chapter 5N-1 of the Florida Administrative Code. As such, it is wise to hire a private investigator who has acquired licensure from the relevant authorities. However, investigators working in Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Mississippi need not worry about licensing because these states do not regulate private investigations. Some states have reciprocity agreements/protocols with other states meaning private investigators can work across such states without necessarily acquiring new licenses. Some of the common licensing requirements include law enforcement background (FBI or police), passing exhaustive background checks, and completing a specified number of fieldwork hours. To learn more about local licensing requirements, visit your state’s Department of Consumer Affairs website.

An insurance agent talks about liability insurance. Make sure the private investigator you hire is insured.
An insurance agent talks about liability insurance. Make sure the private investigator you hire is insured.

Insurance Coverage

Private investigators operating in states where licensing is mandatory must also have adequate insurance coverage and surety bond if it is mandatory. Once again, these requirements typically vary from one state to the next. With this in mind, request the private investigator you intend to hire to provide you with proof of insurance coverage. If you can, call the insurer to verify the validity of any coverage or surety bond. Insurance companies can also help you determine whether a private investigator has complied with the local coverage requirements.


Choose an experienced private investigator who specializes in child custody cases. Remember private investigations cover a wide range of niches including insurance claims fraud, forensic accounting, marital infidelity, murder, and kidnappings. Since the investigatory processes involved in each of these niches vary, you should hire a professional who has handled child custody cases preferably for several years. In addition, ensure the investigator you intend to hire has been deposed in court because the private investigator may be required to testify in your case.

Professional Qualifications

Besides licensing, choose an investigator who has successfully completed one or multiple educational programs related to private investigations. Luckily, learning institutions such as CUNY, Rutgers University, and John Jay College of Criminal Justice offer programs such as criminology, psychology, and criminal justice, which are essential for one to succeed as a private investigator. This is in addition to certifications offered by professional bodies such as the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). Such certifications are particularly important because divorced or separated couples may engage in fraudulent activities to ensure they have the upper hand during child custody proceedings.

Clear Fee Structure

Some of the factors that determine the cost of hiring a private investigation include the nature of evidence required, length of investigation period, travelling and accommodation expenses (if any), surveillance strategies deployed, and ease of monitoring the target individual. For example, the cost of a thorough background check can range anywhere from $200 to $400.As such, it is wise to hire an investigator who can give you an accurate breakdown of his/her investigatory services costs. In general, experienced and high profile investigators tend to charge more than their low profile and inexperienced counterparts.



Child custody investigations can be complex and involve legalese that is undecipherable by people without legal/law enforcement background. For this reason, look for a private investigator who can explain all the relevant legal concepts in a way that you can understand. Communication is also necessary during instances when a private investigator has to travel out-of-state or abroad to follow leads. Finally, a private investigator’s feedback could determine the outcome of your child custody case.


When searching for a private investigator, you should evaluate potential candidates based on their experience, professional qualifications, communication skills, insurance coverage, fee structure, and licensing. At the same time, make sure your investigator follows industry best practices and does not break the law to acquire evidence.

Private Investigator Meets Unfaithful Spouses

This is a case where we used a GPS tracking device to monitor the activities of our client’s wife. This was not related to the child custody case from before. Now this is a video we took about 12 hours after we had tracked the car to a hotel just South of the airport. We eventually found out she had picked him up from the airport that morning and spent the day with him in the hotel room. She had supposed to been going to a seminar.

Private investigators use a variety of gadgets to help them catch cheating partners.
Private investigators use a variety of gadgets to help them catch cheating partners.

Here is one of the first cases we ever worked. It’s one of Eric Snow‘s first cases. A little lady comes out in a nice sexy number two, greets the husband of a completely different woman and she is not too bashful about being out there in the street wearing her lingerie. The nice thing about this video is then we finally get to see, and wait for it, here it comes in a few minutes, a few seconds, she is doing all of this, running around with a married man while her child is in the house. She uses the child to get the dog. Another day we caught him coming out and he wasn’t terribly bashful, shall we say. Well, he ended up paying his wife quite a bit of money because of this video. If you think your husband is cheating, give us a call.

Here’s a case of a man whose wife was out cheating with one of his friends. He actually worked at a hotel and he worked late at night. She gives him a kiss and then they wander off to another restaurant where they have a meal or an ice cream or something. Now, remember this is not her husband and as they come back to the car, we catch what we call the money shot and we catch them making out oblivious to the fact that we are actually sitting right across the street from them.

Then we turn around and we actually get a little bit better angle video to see what’s going on. The really sad part about this is that her husband was a Hispanic as she is and she was not here legally. He was attempting to get her a green card by marrying her and he did love her, but not so much after he saw that video.

Here’s an interesting case we worked. This is a case of a woman that finally had made the decision to follow her intuition, to listen to listen to her gut. Her husband told her that he was going on a business dinner with some of his coworkers, well we found out that he was actually was going with his secretary who’s getting a little bit too touchy-feely there for being a secretary. You can let your imagination run wild from there.

Private Investigation Reveals Horrid Living Conditions for 3 Year Old Child

Soon we will release a video. In this video, we’re going to show you the disturbing living conditions that a child had to endure while in the custody of her mother. We were hired by the father in this case to investigate just how the child was living, and on the morning that the mother and daughter moved out of the apartment complex, we gained permission to go inside. This is what we saw; dead roaches, live roaches, complete filth, devastation inside the apartment, mold and dirt everywhere, and filthy bathrooms, pill bottles on the ground within easy access. This was a three-year-old child and this was the type of environment the three-year-old child had to live in.

Our investigation revealed that the child was living in squalor.
Our investigation revealed that the child was living in squalor.

The father eventually got full custody of the child based on this video alone. As you can see, this is just an atrocious way for any child to have to live. If you know of a child, or know somebody that is keeping a child in these kinds of conditions, do report it. This is no way for a child to have to live and survive. I wouldn’t blame the child for being naughty, having to live like this.