Child Custody Investigation – Granger, IN
During my divorce eight years ago I was awarded full custody of our three children. Then last year I made the difficult decision to move about 1-½ hours away so that the children could attend a better school district in Granger, Indiana. I know very little about the court system and thought that I just needed to make the court aware of the short move. I hired a lawyer to do that. I would later learn that he did not file the paperwork as he said he would. We moved to our new home, my children loved their new school, and my Ex filed for a hearing to fight the move. By the time we went to court the judge was surprised to learn of our move and was understandably upset, ultimately blamed me for not making sure the court was aware of the change and getting permission. The attorney also failed to show up to that hearing, likely out of embarrassment, so all the judge had to go on was my word. The judge took it out on me and immediately awarded my ex-husband custody in order for the children to return back to their old school right away. I was devastated. What was worse was that I was the only one who knew my ex-husband was an alcoholic, with a horrible drinking problem, which was the reason I filed for divorce in the first place. He is a good man with a horrible problem and I didn’t want to embarrass him during our divorce, so I did not mention it as the reason. Therefore, there was no court record of the alcoholism or the many, many problems that it caused our young children during our marriage.
I immediately found a new attorney and he quickly arranged a meeting with Coppins Investigative Group. We met at their Granger, Indiana office and talked about the details of our situation. I decided to proceed with surveillance in order to see if he was taking care of the children and confirm that he was going home after work to be a good dad.
The female investigator began working on the case within two weeks. During her surveillance investigation we learned that 2 to 3 evenings (school nights) each week our children were actually going home after school to find their grandmother, his mother, waiting for them. We found out that my Ex left work at 3:00 PM and went straight to the sports bar. He told everyone, including the judge and his mother, that he worked overtime a couple evenings a week. What he didn’t know was that our investigators had documented that he was actually going to the bar. On many occasions, they actually sent someone inside to confirm and photograph him and to count and document the massive amounts of drinks he consumed before finally going home to the children who were probably already in bed.
On one occasion the investigator witnessed him drinking heavily in a sports bar on a Sunday afternoon just before coming to meet me to pick up the children. He literally left that sports bar to come to get them. The investigator contacted the police because he was driving drunk and then communicated with me to make sure I did not let the children leave in his car. When he arrived I came up with a reason to get close to him, told him I smelled alcohol, and said I was going to call the police to have them check him. He quickly drove off, leaving the children with me and saying he would call me later. The police weren’t able to catch him but the pictures and reports from earlier in the bar would later say it all. Coppins’ people were able to document his alcoholism for several weeks preceding our next hearing date, and my Ex never caught on to the surveillance. Therefore, he didn’t realize that the lies he was about to say in court would quickly be found out.
Even though I had all of this evidence I was naturally terrified to go to the court hearing. But, having Brett Coppins, a former police detective, overseeing the surveillance made all the difference. Our new attorney presented their reports and photographic evidence through their testimony, all of which was laid out in a format that the judge could easily understand. The judge made an immediate decision to change the previous decision, and returned the children to me. Now my Ex husband has been forced to get help and our hope is that over the next few months he will get better and finally be able to be the father that the children need.
Never in a million years would I want to relive this experience, but if I had to, I wouldn’t worry if I had this company and their people on my side again.