CHILD CUSTODY BACKGROUND INVESTIGATIONS
When the custody of your children becomes an issue, having all the relevant information about the people who will be around them or help raise them is crucial and can play a significant role in the decision making process defined by the court. Our investigators have the experience to conduct in depth background investigations on your ex-spouse or their new boyfriend or girlfriend. Investigations can also be conducted on anyone who will be in contact with your children for any significant time as well as on caregivers, babysitters and nannies.
We also conduct surveillance to determine if non-custodial parents are not spending time with their children during their allotted visitation as well as to document how they are spending that time. Surveillance will document who is with your children when the non-custodial parent is not. It will reveal any risks or dangers to which your children are exposed. To schedule an appointment or confidentially discuss your situation, please feel free to call us at 800-585-0871.
By far one of the most common investigations we are asked to conduct are post judgment cohabitation cases. A cohabitation investigation is necessary to enforce divorce agreements that contain cohabitation clauses. These clauses call for either a reduction or an elimination of alimony if the party receiving support cohabitates with another person. Proving cohabitation is difficult because the concept is more complex than merely documenting that two people live together. The evidence we gather in a cohabitation case is typically used to prove to the court that cohabitation may be occurring and therefore asking the court for discovery of other issues, typically of a financial nature, that support a theory of cohabitation. To help clarify this legal concept, the most common questions we encounter include:
What is cohabitation?
Cohabitation is typically defined as an intimate and personal relationship between two people whose financial affairs are also intertwined. The relationship essentially mirrors marriage and the parties live together the majority of the time.
Further, the relationship must exhibit characteristics of “stability, permanency, and mutual interdependence”, Konzelman v. Konzelman, 158 NJ 185, 202 (1999). Finally, how the couple holds themselves out to their social and family circles needs to be taken into consideration and perhaps documented.
How long will the investigation last in order to prove cohabitation and what are the costs involved?
We typically act and plan in collaboration with your attorney who is going to prepare a motion to argue that cohabitation is occurring. Therefore, each case is different. We have had cases that lasted a few months and others that have gone on for more than a year. The amount of time and consequently the amount of money you invest in the investigation will vary depending upon what is at stake financially. You have to weight several factors including how much are you paying per month and the duration of the alimony. If it is permanent and costly, then a co-habitation investigation is probably a good investment. If you are paying a manageable amount of money that expires in a few years, then you need to weight what you will save (if you win) versus what a long protracted investigation and litigation will cost you.
What needs to be done to prove cohabitation?
If you don’t already know who your ex-spouse is possibly living with, we need to make that determination through observation and database research. We then gather as much background information on the subject to support the investigation. This background research is focused on learning what address the subject reports to NJ Motor Vehicle Services and to their creditors. We can search utility records to determine if any service has been put in the subject’s name at the address in question. Litigation records have also proved to be a good source of data as you can determine where a person was legally served from the court documents.
Our investigators will also focus on where the subject claims to live in an effort to disprove that residency. Is their reported address rented out to someone else or do they report a mail drop as their primary residence? Does someone else have utility service at their reported address?
Thereafter, surveillance is conducted often enough to prove that the subject is physically residing at the location in question the majority of the time over the course of a few weeks. During this phase of the investigation, we also attempt to document if shared household chores are being carried out such as walking a dog, taking out the trash, cutting the grass, cleaning the gutters, raking leaves, shoveling snow, etc. We attempt to document if the subject has a key to residence, has a garage door opener, or if the couple use each other’s vehicles. We also document visible items and assets that might belong to the subject such as trailers, second cars, boats, tools, etc.
In addition, social media can be investigated in an effort to obtain evidence of how the couple hold themselves out to their family and respective social circles.
We can also investigate if the subjects have any business relationships or financial obligations in common (auto loans, mortgages, timeshares, etc.)
Further, surveillance can be conducted to document the couples’ actions outside of the home at parties, intimate dinners, movies, vacations and children’s sporting and school events to show that a certain level of affection exists.
Finally, a detailed report of our findings is generated including all surveillance conducted and all information gathered. We often prepare a certification to go along with the report so the document can be attached as an exhibit to any moving papers submitted for the court’s review.
We would by happy to provide further information on the process and meet with you to discuss your investigative options. Call 800-585-0871 to make an appointment or talk to an investigative professional.
EVIDENCE OF INFIDELITY/MATRIMONIAL SURVEILLANCE
Deciding to conduct an infidelity investigation to determine if your spouse is cheating can be intimidating. You need an experienced investigator to support you and get the job done right the first time. Often, the evidence obtained is not used in a court of law but nonetheless provides answers to difficult questions that can affect your family in profound ways. Matrimonial investigations require a thoughtful and insightful approach. Our experienced private detectives are your source for truthful information. Please call 800-585-0871 for a free telephone consultation to learn how the professionals at Cyber Investigations can help you get the answers you deserve.
Our clients often have many questions on how to proceed when they believe their spouse has betrayed them. Their questions include:
I’ve never done this before. How does your office handle an infidelity case?
First, we listen to your concerns and suspicions and provide our expert opinion based on the information you present. This can be accomplished at our office, at a location of your choosing, or on the telephone. We take detailed information about the situation and people involved.
Then, your goals and expectations are discussed and we clarify if your objectives are realistic.
Next, we formulate a preliminary budget and an investigative plan that identifies the focus and scope of our inquiry, which is done with an eye toward reducing costs when possible.
Thereafter, a retainer agreement is prepared. The retainer agreement is our contract for investigative services and it includes a general outline of the investigative plan and approximate costs of the investigation, along with the expected payment terms, hourly investigative rates and anticipated expenses. The investigative plan may include surveillance, hidden camera technologies, GPS technology, forensic evaluation of electronic devices (smart phones, notebook computers, etc.) and or other methods of investigative inquiry.
After being retained, we prepare for the investigation by organizing and reviewing data that will assist us as we implement the investigative plan and move toward achieving your goals. If the strategy calls for conducting surveillance, in consultation with you, we determine the most cost effective time to follow the subject(s). We then conduct surveillance using videotape to document their behavior and gather evidence of the affair.
How much will the investigation cost and how much of a retainer fee to you need?
The amount of the retainer agreement and overall cost of the investigation will depend upon a number of factors including:
- Your overall budget;
- The scope of the investigative plan (surveillance versus alternate investigative techniques);
- If you know the identify of the suspected girlfriend or boyfriend;
- The amount of information you know about the subject’s schedule;
- How active the affair is;
- The amount of “free time” the subject has to “cheat”;
- The surveillance challenges that are presented, which is based on a number of factors such as location, density, mode of transportation, etc.;
- How many investigators are needed in order to effectively obtain the necessary evidence to prove the case;
We typically request a retainer equal to the projected total costs to fund your investigation. We prefer to communicate information to our clients as often as possible during the course of an investigation when this contact will not compromise the case. Unfortunately, we find that some clients may take advantage of having the results of the investigation without completely paying for the information, which is why we have implemented our full funding retainer policy.
What forms of payment do you take?
We accept checks, cash, and all major credit cards.
How does evidence of infidelity support the legal aspects of my case?
- Determining that marital assets have been diverted for use by or to support a girlfriend/boyfriend or diverted for later use;
- Documenting that children may be exposed to an unfit person or situation;
- Documenting harassing behavior committed by a paramour against the client or client’s family;
- Providing documentation of the affair publically in the divorce complaint regardless of a legal need;
- Judges are people too and maybe influenced by evidence of outrageous behavior which might also effect your spouse’s credibility before the court;
- Obtain early evidence of the affair for later use in a co-habitation case;
- Documenting the affair for use in establishing the level of Pendente Lite alimony if assets have been diverted to support the affair.
Can you tap my spouse’s phone or put a listening device in their car?
No, we can not. The surreptitious recording of any conversation where at least one party to the conversation has not provided their consent is illegal under New Jersey law, Federal Law as well as most other state laws unless a warrant or court order has been issued allowing the conversation to be monitored or recorded. By using an experienced and ethical investigator, your case will be documented in a legal manner where the evidence acquired can be used in a court of law if necessary.
Can you get my spouse’s cellular telephone records and text messages?
Obtaining this type of information through the use of a source or pretext is illegal in New Jersey. However, in certain circumstances, your attorney can subpoena this information from the telephone carrier. We can help you to legally identify the names of persons associated with telephone numbers if you have obtained the information directly from your telephone bill. This type of “intelligence” is often very helpful in conducting a successful investigation.
What do I receive when an investigation is completed?
If requested, we provide a detailed report of our findings together with a DVD copy of all videotape evidence obtained. We produce quality reports that include embedded video still images of pertinent events. We take great pride and care in the professional preparation of our investigative reports. Please understand that we also bill for our time to prepare our reports and reproduce the video evidence that we acquire.
We also provide a detailed invoice which includes a breakdown of all the time spent on your file including database research, expenses and mileage charges. If the balance of your account is less than the retainer provided, we issue a refund check to you as well – unless otherwise noted in your retainer agreement.
Regardless of why you choose to conduct an infidelity investigation, you can be assured that your case will be handled by a professional investigator, in a confidential, non-judgmental and considerate manner. The principals of Cyber Investigations and our employees and support staff have the skills and experience to help you get the answers you need in a cost effective and timely manner. Please call 800-585-0871 to schedule an appointment with our office or for a free telephone consultation.
EVIDENCE OF VIOLATIONS OF COURT ORDERS
Matrimonial attorneys work hard to obtain comprehensive court orders that protect their client’s interests and define the terms of family law agreements. Court orders can specify when and how visitation occurs and who may or may not be around your children. They delineate where visitation will occur and under what conditions. However, it will quickly become apparent that your enforcement options are limited when a court order is consistently violated. Often the police won’t get involved because the issues are civil and not criminal. It will be up to you and your attorney to enforce the terms of the order. Without proof of blatant and consistent violations of a court order by a neutral party, it comes down to the credibility of the parties involved. The back and forth legal maneuvering while arguing your cause can become very expensive and can drag out over long periods of time as the offending party plays legal games.
By hiring a licensed New Jersey investigator to document deliberate and continued violations of a Judge’s order, you will have the advantage when you return to court to have your concerns addressed. By gathering clear evidence of violations before returning to court, you will reduce legal fees and demonstrate to the court with convincing proof that your adversary is not credible and has no regard for the court’s directives. By using this proven strategy, future court appearance are more likely to be in your favor as your adversary’s trustworthiness is forever stained in the eyes of the court.
FINANCIAL INVESTIGATIONS OF “DEADBEAT” PARENTS
From an investigative standpoint, there are two categories of parents who fail to pay alimony and or child support. The first simply may not have the financial resources and therefore falls behind in their obligations. The second may be bitter at what they consider to be an unfair court ruling. As a result, they feign poverty and attempt to minimize their ability to pay. Both types of parents present unique problems when it comes to investigating their ability to pay child support or alimony obligations.
Different approaches need to be taken for each “type” of deadbeat and we have the tools and experience to find the truth. The following are different searches and investigative strategies that have been helpful in documenting a deadbeat parent’s ability to pay:
An investigative analysis is conducted in an effort to estimate the subject’s monthly expenses in relation to their reported income. These expenses including rent/mortgage, taxes, utilities (gas, oil, electric, water), food/clothing, insurance, vehicle loans and maintenance, gasoline expenses, travel and vacation expenses, credit card payments, loan payments, medical and dental expenses, entertainment, etc.
If the investigation reveals the subject is spending more than they claim to earn, than it can be argued that they are failing to disclose income, allowing your attorney to open your case for further discovery of the subject’s finances.
Inquiries are made to locate all current employers and to identify approximate income. Many people in today’s economy hold more than one job. Keeping that second job “a secret” is a way to minimize their claimed earnings from their primary job.
Off-the-Books or illegal Income
This type of income is the most difficult to prove. The investigation can become costly because it usually requires that surveillance be conducted to show the subject is working when they claim they are unemployed or working another “on the books” job albeit part-time.
If the subject is involved in illegal activity to supplement their income, this too can be difficult to prove because the subject may be paranoid and or extremely careful about how they conduct their illegal business in an effort to elude law enforcement.
Other Sources of Income
- An asset investigation can be conducted to determine if the subject owns rental property from which he/she is deriving income;
- Determine if the subject has investment accounts or annuities from which income is being received;
- Investigate to determine if the subject inherited money from a relative;
- Determine if the subject has a roommate or tenant in their home from which rent is received;
- Determine if the subject is self-employed in addition to his/her regular job and determine value of business potential.
Please call our experienced investigators to help guide you through a cost effective approach to learn the truth and help you recover what you are owed.
The call and consultation are free – 800-585-0871.