Family Law Investigation: Drinking And Driving Leads Parent To Lose Custody E-Newsletter Article

Recently, a Houston area law firm hired Texas Investigative Network, Inc. to conduct a covert, mobile surveillance assignment.  The Subject of our investigation was suspected of violating her divorce decree by consuming alcohol – and having male visitors overnight – during her time of possession with her three (3) children.  

          On TIN’s second day of surveillance, our Investigators captured video evidence of our Subject and her new boyfriend traveling to a liquor store and purchasing a bottle of alcohol.  Later that night, the Subject, her boyfriend, her three (3) children, and a friend of one (1) of the children ate out at a local Mexican Restaurant.  TIN Investigators discreetly captured covert video of the Subject and her boyfriend both consuming two (2) “fish-bowl” margaritas over dinner.   To establish that these drinks did in fact contain alcohol, one (1) of our investigators approached the bartender and was informed that our Subject and her boyfriend had each ordered and consumed two (2) margaritas that contained 90 proof tequila.   A photo of the original receipt for dinner and drinks was also obtained before the waiter had an opportunity to clear our Subject’s table.

          TIN Investigators promptly exited the restaurant and from the parking lot area, discreetly obtained covert video of the Subject entering her vehicle – accompanied by her boyfriend and four (4) children – and depart the restaurant as the operator of her vehicle.  TIN Investigators were not only surprised to observe our Subject driving a vehicle after having just consumed two (2) large alcoholic beverages, one of her children was actually seated on her boyfriend’s lap – in the front seat of the vehicle – and not secured in a seat by himself.  When arriving back at the Subject’s residence late that evening, covert surveillance video was obtained of the Subject, the four (4) children, and her boyfriend entering the Subject’s residence – in direct violation of her divorce decree.

          Over the next two (2) days of surveillance, TIN Investigators observed the Subject – accompanied by her boyfriend – running various errands around town and popping fireworks with her children.  TIN was able to establish that the Subject’s boyfriend also stayed overnight at the Subject’s residence each evening, indicating that she may not have taken the stipulations of her divorce decree very seriously.

Family Law Investigation Results

TIN presented all findings – covert surveillance video and a professionally detailed report in court-admissible format – to our law firm client.  Our client later informed us that the presiding Family Court Judge was so impressed with the clarity and detail of the TIN evidentiary work produced in this matter that none of the four (4) TIN Investigators that worked this case would be required to testify in court. 

As a result of TIN’s investigation, our client was awarded full custody of his three (3) children and the Subject of our investigation received limited visitation with her children, and under supervised conditions.   The Judge also ordered the Subject to vacate the residence and allowed our client to move back in, in order to be reunited with his three (3) children.  Additionally, the Judge ordered our Subject to install a breathalyzer on her cell phone for a period of one (1) year.  As a result of this outcome, the law firm client advised TIN that their client (father of the 3 children) was extremely grateful for TIN’s work in this matter and further stated, “This was the best money that I’ve ever spent.” 


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Bill Pellerin Private Investigator

About the Author:

Bill Pellerin is the founder and President of Texas Investigative Network, Inc., a Texas Corporation founded in 1994. The company employs licensed investigators in Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen, and San Antonio, Texas, and conducts investigations for several major Texas corporations, law firms, insurance companies, and financial institutions. Learn more