It has long been established that the issue of children in a divorce is integral. Parents consider their children to be their most valued asset and therefore, both the spouses are likely to fight it out in court fiercely to make sure they end up having the possession of their most prized assets. The courts, however, have to base their decisions in family law child custody cases on the best interest of the child. Sometimes, it is harder for the judge to be able to evaluate the claims of both the parents in terms of custodial suitability and hence, they can order a child custody investigation to clear the facts and the picture.
Parents that go through these investigations are likely to find themselves under considerable amounts of stress and confusion. Primarily, child custody investigations are about the accusations leveled by one of the spouses against the other with regards to:
- Child neglect
- Substance abuse
- Sexual/physical child abuse
- Other concerns in relation to the safety and security of the child
The Purpose of Investigations
The use of child custody investigations is done by the Orange County family law court personnel to be able to have a clearer and more objective view of the facts. These facts and clearing of accusations and perceptions are likely to increase the chances of decision by the court that is truly in the child’s best interest. These investigations are done by the internal investigator of the court and therefore, are completely different to the other child custody evaluations done under Evidence Code section 730.
Are Child Custody Investigations Helpful?
This is one of the most common questions that have been asked with regards to child custody investigation. Typically, in Orange County court proceedings, the pattern is in the ‘he said, she said’ style, where arguments seem to be flowing through and lawyers arguing over the actions taken by either of the spouses. All of this is done without any regard to the objective representation of facts and figures.
Child custody investigations, on the other hand, involve a whole host of procedures that are intended to provide the facts objectively at the end of the process. This can include processes such as:
- Interview of the witnesses and the parents
- Thorough reviewing of the important documents that include videos, photographs and medical records and other information that can prove decisive in the fighting of the case.
When the Investigation is Complete?
Once the child custody investigation is complete, the investigator is likely to submit a formal report to the Orange County family law court, which has all the necessary facts of the case in an objectively represented form. The court can sometimes ask the investigator for the live testimony of the facts provided. It is important to note that these proceedings owing to the involvement of the children are closed and only parties and their lawyers are allowed to attend such proceedings.
Gerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law attorney and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.