When you’re considering a divorce or in the midst of the breakdown of a relationship, you may find yourself wondering whether or not you should hire a professional investigator. A lot of people have misconceptions about what private investigators do, and whether or not hiring one is right for their particular situation.
The following are some things to know and consider if you’re contemplating this option.
What Do Private Investigators Do?
So, what do private investigators do? A lot of people aren’t really sure, but they can do quite a bit. Along with the obvious things like getting proof of a cheating spouse, private investigators can help during a child custody case if you feel the other parent isn’t fit to take care of the children. A private investigator can also help uncover financial assets the other person may be trying to hide, and this is one of the biggest reasons a lot of people hire someone.
One of the primary advantages of an investigator regarding finances is the fact that they usually have access to databases that will help them uncover various assets and accounts that your former spouse can be trying very hard to hide.
Consult Your Lawyer First
A lot of people will hire a private investigator before they do anything else regarding their divorce, but it’s best to work with a lawyer and then hire the investigator. There are rules that vary based on the state you live in regarding things like confidentiality, and if you have a lawyer who counsels you on how to hire a PI, you’ll usually get better results.
Often if you hire a lawyer first, they can then work together with the PI to maximize the effectiveness of the investigation. If you have a lot of information, but it’s not admissible in court, it’s useless and amounts to a waste of time and money. Of course, an experienced PI will understand this with or without the guidance of a lawyer, but the two working together can be most advantageous in a lot of cases.
Don’t Ever Rely on Friends As Investigators
There are situations where people think they’ll get better information if they simply rely on friends and family to “spy” on their current or former spouse. For example, they might use a mutual friend to record certain conversations. This is absolutely not a good idea.
These situations can result in violations of laws at the state and federal level, and your friend could end up with criminal charges.
There’s also the potential that you or your friend or family member could have to pay civil damages in a situation like this.
As a final note, there’s one other situation where you might want to hire a private investigator even after your divorce is finalized. In some states and some situations one spouse is required to pay the other alimony for a period of time.
This can be discontinued if the spouse is found to be cohabitating with a new partner, but this can be difficult to prove. This is one of the top reasons people hire private investigators. They can prove cohabitation so that alimony payments can be stopped.