Articles

Losing contact with your children away from home

I have received in recent years a rising number of requests from
parents interested in their children’s recent activities. This is
typically from a parent overseas who may have lost contact with their
son or daughter and simply wishes to receive a phone call. Fortunately
the majority of these cases are easily sorted. Young people used to a
certain discipline at home often lose the run of themselves once away
from home.
Once the individual is contacted they respond quickly and make that
all important call home. They may have moved flat/apartment without
letting their parents know and I’ve even heard of one young legal
secretary who had not got the credit to call home because she had
spent all her money on a night out.
A private investigator may be called in for a variety of different
reasons and unfortunately sometimes drugs may be involved. If you
suspect drugs are being used then do not hesitate to take action but
action must be taken with care. If contact is lost then obviously your
first port of call i.e communication is not an option. The Gardai may
locate a person if reported missing but if that person does not wish
to be contacted then their hands are tied. An investigator can make
contact and if that investigator believes the person is a danger to
themselves then he/she may take further action appropriate to the
situation.
If the young person concerned is still in contact with their parents
but are telling them a load of lies then an investigator can assess
the situation and establish if it is a case of sowing a few wild oats
or something more sinister.
Addictive gambling has never been easier. It can begin online and then
be carried on through bookies and casinos around town. Debts can mount
at an alarming rate and a student loan can become a disappearing line
of credit. If the young person involved has access to a credit card
then they can find themselves with a county court judgement against
them in what seems like a short amount of time if they choose to
ignore their obligations. The Celtic Tiger has not helped anyone in
terms of behaving in a thrifty manner. Designer clothes have become
minimum standard in a teenager’s wardrobe. I have never seen so many
students with cars and a trip to the local pizzeria has replaced the
traditional beans on toast. It all adds up and when you’re gambling on
top of this and then it becomes a powder keg which can lead to
depression and a lifetime record of bad credit.
Take care readers and watch carefully for the signs without becoming
an interfering and overbearing parent.

Delinquent fathers in Ireland

There are many fathers today who do their best to avoid paying anything for their children. Usually I see this after a bitter separation when the lines of communication between father and mother have either broken down or are on the verge of collapse.

There are two sides to every story but the only truly innocents in any break-up are the children. A mother may use the children as a weapon to hurt the father who may or may not have been guilty of a marital affair but this is irrelevant when deciding child support.

I have seen violence and abandonment from both sides, morally from my point of view its rarely black and white. However despite all the turmoil between two adults I believe in two certainties, a father has a right to see his children ( provided of course he is not a threat to them ) and that father should pay for the maintenance of those same children.

I am increasingly being told about those delinquent fathers who pay nothing. They seem to think that selfishness is the order of the day and priorities such as the pub, cocaine use and new girlfriends are all that count. Some are claiming they are not working and some are even collecting social welfare while insisting on this claim. In such cases a private investigator may be used.

The subject may be working part-time or is a traveling sales man or a software operative who works from home, not all cases are easy. You cannot entrap the subject. For instance I could not ring a subject and ask him to work for me and produce such evidence in court, it would be regarded as being tainted. He must be witnessed working independently of your interference, this takes time, patience and money to build a case.

There are other subjects who have been filmed parking a van in their own drive with the name of their work place emblazoned all over it. These same subjects travel to work at regular hours and return regularly. At the same time they are quite capable of sitting in the witness box and perjuring themselves.

A private investigator can be a valuable ally in proving your case. He or she can be experienced in giving evidence and quite adept at answering on cross examination.

Make sure you pick the right legal team. The first step is to speak to your solicitor, but don’t settle with the first solicitor you meet. Interview them on their experience in the family courts and make sure he/she understands exactly what you want. Always be factual and try to avoid a nonsensical rant.

You may have been emotionally hurt but stick to the game plan, you are there for your children only. Ask the name of your barrister and see how he/she performs in court with another case. Judge for yourself. Although the family courts are generally a closed affair to the public, many barristers will appear in district court cases which are open for all to see. Visit the court house and see how your barrister defends his clients, is he/she a silver tonged Perry Mason type who fights their client’s corner or is he or she a bumbling idiot whose knowledge of the law is questionable.

In every district court a number of barristers will come and go on any given day but there will always be one who stands out from the crowd for their articulation, poise and results with the judge. Likewise you will find the opposite. I remember one barrister who had to be corrected for quoting the wrong law and subsection which would not have been so bad if he hadn’t being reading it off a page and that the judge had just referred to the correct law moments earlier.

A private investigator can be expensive but it is the long term view which should be taken. The court is going to decide a maintenance figure for many years to come so a few euro spent now could save you a lot in the long run.

I have often wondered if an argument could be made for state assistance in paying an investigator’s bill. Remember it is the state which is paying for false welfare claims and child benefits.

From this investigator’s point of view a maintenance case where no maintenance is being paid is simply wrong. So if you don’t want to be charged in court with perjury, find yourself in trouble with welfare and leave your children fending for themselves then pay your dues.

Otherwise expect to beĀ SHADOWED.