A distraught mother of two contacted International Counterintelligence Services, Inc. (ICS) out of desperation. She was in the process of a divorce, and had been fighting with her husband over future custody arrangements. In retaliation, her husband threatened to take the children out of the state and begin a new life. The mother’s panic mounted because he was scheduled to have the children for the weekend. The mother, ICS trained Case Analysts, and investigators were able to evaluate her urgent dilemma during the free consultation process. It was determined that the next action would be to begin an ICS investigation. This course of action would allow her to comply with the existing court order mandating visitation while gathering critical intelligence she would need if the husband attempted to flee.
Case Study for Child Custody and Visitation Investigations
A mother of two children contacted International Counterintelligence Services, Inc. (ICS) to hire a private investigator because she recently had filed for sole custody of her two children. The father and estranged husband told the mother if she ever filed for sole custody, he would take the children out of state and she would never see them again. What further exacerbated the situation was the father had one final weekend with the children prior to the court order.
The mother contacted ICS, and during her free consultation she was informed of possible options. This was a limited-scope child custody and visitation investigation and incident-related investigation. With the help of the ICS private investigators and an ICS case analyst, it was determined that conducting surveillance would be the best course of action. ICS decided to arrange for two-agent surveillance teams, consisting of two surveillance specialists to be placed on the father at all times. The investigators were instructed to capture video and photo documentation.
The surveillance began at the father’s place of employment, and he was followed in order to maintain constant visual contact. The surveillance tail began as he left his work to pick up his children (allowed by the court ordered visitation arrangements), with visual contact being maintained by both agents. The investigators are trained to rotate positions of visual contact with the subject. This type of surveillance measure reduces the exposure the investigators experience with the subject. The investigators were able to document the father each time he left the house with the children and followed him to various locations, such as the market, the video store, etc. Constant communications were kept with ICS base operations. In the event the subject gave any indication of leaving the state, investigations base was ready to deploy a backup team and coordinate with the client and law enforcement. Video documentation was kept as a precaution: if the father attempted to leave the state, the client would have solid proof. This type of mobile surveillance would provide the police and other legal entities with powerful evidence if the father did in fact try to leave the state.
The case manager assigned to the case gave the client multiple surveillance status updates over the weekend. He was diligent in keeping in constant communications with his investigative team as to the father’s movements. As a result of a dedicated surveillance team of ICS investigators, in conjunction with the ICS base operations, case manager, case analyst, and a caring mother, her fears of losing her children had been allayed and piece of mind was achieved. This allowed her to comply with the court order and reduced the chances of a much more adverse scenario.
This type of child visitation scenario happens with alarming frequency during child custody investigations. Fortunately, ICS had a expansive staff of experienced private investigators that were able to provide the needed teams of two investigators for non-stop surveillance. This type of surveillance was orchestrated to provide the client with critical intelligence that she would need in the event that the subject attempted to leave the state with their children.
The mother acted with haste, realizing the urgency of the threat, and filed a legal injunction (which at the time was not in force) against the father. The mother’s desperate and quick actions heightened the police’s awareness as to the seriousness of these threats. Our cooperation with local police would have been invaluable in the event of a getaway. Now there was a legal trail and demonstration of real fear of the father leaving the state with the children. Subsequent to the completion of the investigation, the court had granted the mother sole custody of their children, pending further investigation. ICS stands ready to assist this client in further investigations if needed.
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