Repetitious Negligent Behavior in Child Custody Cases
This is a type of behavior that can be generally classified as a situation, where this is a continuous occurrence of less than standard amount of proper parenting, or care given to a child by the parent or caregiver. The nature and the circumstance of the neglect tends to also play a significant part as regards to custody cases, so it is quite crucial that we look properly as to what may be seen to constitute gross negligence towards a child.
We must now look at the proper protocols and processes to consider to be able to properly establish grounds for a negligent repetitive behavior case against a parent or caregiver that could result in the change of legal guardianship and custody of a child.
What to do?
To begin such an investigation, it would be wise to first procure the services of a licensed private investigator with good understanding and experience of child custody cases. Particular emphasis must be put on the ‘licensed’ as it would bode better for the case if the investigator can be characterized as an expert witness who is well schooled in such matters.
It is key in such cases, that the concerned parent or client in custody cases to understand that for the case to carry any weight in child courts in the country, there must be ample evidence showing multiple occasions where the alleged negligent repetitive behavior occurred when the child was present. This is since you will need to show that such behavior which can be considered harmful or dangerous to the child was not an accidental occurrence, nor has there been any effort put in by the defaulting parent or caregiver to ensure that it does not happen again.
So it important to know that, isolated incidents that may have occurred will not stand in court if it can be shown that it did not happen again or that when it happened the child was not present, a good example of such would be domestic abuse by a spouse, which in itself is an offense but if it did occur and the child was not present and the abuse was not also directed at the child, it would be difficult for it to be used as grounds to demand a change of guardianship or custody of a child.
Furthermore, for the investigation to have optimum effect, it would be wise to have a situation where the investigator was on hand to witness the negligence towards the child, as this would give more credibility and validity to any testimony and evidence they would provide to the court. It would also be highly beneficial to the case, if the client understands that the investigator is best equipped to carry out such inquiries and provide other expert witnesses i.e., child therapists and pediatricians etc. who would be willing to give supporting testimony to the neglect at hand and its ill effects to the child which could prove decisive in swaying the final verdict in favor of the client.
Now it is important to note that contacting
an investigator is something that should be done a significant amount of time before filing an official petition with the court. This is to enable the investigator to have ample time to gather enough evidence to adequately assist your case. Although, exceptions to this may be made in situations where the action of the defaulting parent places the child at imminent peril i.e., driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the child is a passenger in the car, leaving dangerous implements or firearms laying around in a house that the child lives in etc. understandably such situations require that swift and immediate action be taken in the interest of the child’s wellbeing.
In a significant number of custody proceedings, being able to prove the negligent repetitive behavior of a parent or caregiver has been shown to be quite an important factor when custodial arrangements are finalized. So, following this line of reasoning, it would be advisable that any opportunity to capture evidence of the continuous neglect is not wasted i.e., any opportunity to gain video evidence or to get testimony of a relative or teacher who has also witnessed or has been present when such activities were taking place. So to be reasonably confident of a favorable decision, it would be best to have at least 3-5 situations where the negligent behavior was shown by the defaulting parent or caregiver.