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Child Support / Custody Investigations

What is a Child Custody Investigation?

A child custody investigation is an objective observation of a child’s well-being and treatment, usually as part of a divorce, separation, or custody case.

A typical investigation involves an investigator assessing the treatment of a child by his or her parents. The conclusion of the investigator is then reported to the court and used in custody evaluations. When going through a divorce, a child custody investigation will provide reliable evidence.

How does a Child Custody Investigation work?

A child custody private investigator will use surveillance to determine how a parent or guardian treats their child. Investigators will legally document any abuse or neglect we witness using photos, and videos. We may also conduct background checks on custodial parties, other people around the child or living with the child.


When investigating a parent, our investigators looks for things like alcohol abuse, criminal activity, reckless driving, gambling, drug abuse, and any other activities that negatively affect the child. Our private investigators are trained to see the safety of the child as a priority. If the results are problematic, an investigator will not only turn in a report but also testify in court.

Do I need a Child Custody Investigator?

Though separations are never easy, child custody investigations aren’t always necessary, but you need an investigation if:

  • You are concerned about your child's safety. If you believe your spouse is unfit to care for your child for any reason, a private investigator can potentially prove your allegations with objective, legal evidence. In a divorce case, where tensions are high and accusations are made, hard evidence may be necessary to protect a child from an unhealthy environment. Ultimately, an investigator will work with you to keep your child away from an abusive situation.

  • You want peace of mind. If you are unsure if your spouse is fit to care for your child, an investigator can legally look into their background, habits, and parenting style in order to prove or disprove their ability to meet your child’s needs. Reliable evidence will not only stand up in court but will provide you the comfort of knowing your child is safe.

  • You have been falsely accused of abuse or neglect. Especially in court divorce cases, one parent will sometimes make false accusations in order to limit the other parent’s access to their child. A private investigator can gather evidence of proper conduct and ensure you adequate time with your child.

Why hire Lancaster Detective Agency?

There are a variety of reasons why considering a Child Custody/Support Investigation on your own might not be the best option. For one, it can be both emotionally and physically draining.

Our private investigators will find more information in less time and will remain emotionally detached. The validity of evidence is also more concrete when gathered by an investigator.  Parents/Gardians may successfully capture pictures or video on their own, however, this evidence may not be considered valid by a court of law.


A private investigator is unbiased and knowledgeable about family law so their proof will stand up in court.

What does a Child Custody Investigation look like?

Investigations will vary based on your needs. However, many times an investigation to Child Custody will include:

  • Case Intake - We will gather as much information as possible about the parties/parent/grandparent in question, including regular activities, images, vehicle information and hobbies. The more information you share the more successful the investigation will be. Information is gathered using our intake form. A retainer is required and payment is rendered before the investigation is started. All information is considered confidential. Submit Case Now for Review


  • Surveillance – We will conduct surveillance on the party/parent/grandparent using advanced surveillance methods to ensure that you obtain the evidence you need. Some of these methods include physical surveillance, remote video camera systems, and covert cameras. Remote camera systems are used as a tool on Child Custody Cases more often as they can determine the activity level at the residence without the expensive cost of physical surveillance. We are experienced with standard investigative equipment, designing our own equipment in house, as well as an unmanned remote surveillance vehicle.


  • Evidence - Evidence can not only give you peace of mind via indisputable proof but will also stand up in court for potential divorce and support settlements.

What should I expect from an Child Custody Investigation?

Investigations into Child Custody/Support can range from a couple hours to several months to complete. On average cases range in cost from $350.00- $2500.00. Regardless of the length of time, when you contract Lancaster Detective Agency about a child Custody concern, you will be treated with discretion and respect.


We will listen to your suspicions, take them seriously, and will ask you how you want the investigation conducted. You will remain in control of how the investigation proceeds.


You will be able to get regular updates about the status of the investigation and only you will get to decide what to do with the information that is gathered.

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