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Child Custody Investigations: Tracing, Surveillance, and Background Checks 

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Many people all over the country assume that private investigators in Canada fill their time with cheating spouse cases and late nights in seedy neighbourhoods. The truth is, there is so much more to the industry than meets the eye!

In child custody situations, for example, many parents often hire a private investigator. While the reasons why a parent (or guardian) request private investigator services varies from case to case, there are a few main reasons they hire a private investigation firm.

These reasons include:

  • Finding a missing or absent parent
  • Observing a parent’s actions
  • Looking into a subject’s history

Finding a Missing or Absent Parent – Tracing

Tracing, or skip tracing is a common practice that many licensed private investigators use during a child custody case.

The ‘skip’ in skip tracing refers to the fact that one parent has left, or ‘skipped’ town. In some cases the parent has left to avoid paying child support, and in more serious situations, the parent might have also disappeared with the child.

As you can imagine, tracking down an individual isn’t an easy task. In fact, it can take many hours, weeks, or months (and even years) to pin point the location of a missing parent. Because of this, private investigators turn to the internet and social media sites to try and uncover information. A private eye will even call friends, colleagues, and family members who might know the missing parent’s whereabouts. Private investigators can also get access to different documentation and sources that help to track the parent down. Some of these sources include:

  • Utility Bills
  • Job Applications
  • Credit Reports
  • Public Records
  • Driver’s Licence
  • Vehicle Registration

Observing a Parent’s Actions – Surveillance

In some child custody situations, parents have certain restrictions that they must abide by at all times. For example, in a shared child custody situation, a parent might not be allowed to leave their child with friends or a neighbour while they go out to a party with friends. Private investigator surveillance practices help to make sure that both parents obey the rules of their child custody agreement.

Typically, surveillance in these types of cases requires a private investigator to observe and follow the parent from a distance, while the child is in their care. Depending on the situation, private investigators will also sometimes set up cameras and use other equipment to keep track of the parent’s whereabouts and actions.

Looking into a Subject’s History – Background Checks

Background checks are very important in many child custody investigations. The reason for this is because there are times where other adults are introduced into a child’s life. A good example of this is in situations where a parent hires a babysitter, or when they start dating again.

Conducting a background check on these people is really important to parents, as they want to ensure that the other parent isn’t exposing their child to a criminal or predator. The good news is any licensed private investigators in Canada can conduct a background check to confirm that the child is safe around the adult.

Are you a parent looking for child custody private investigation services? For the best private investigation firm in Ottawa, Toronto and the GTA, contact the Smith Investigation Agency today!

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