First, let us make it clear that not all persons that turn to a private investigator are looking for a divorce and, in most cases, even when evidence of infidelity does come up, divorce is not the end result.
Private investigators are there during a highly stressful time in a person’s life. We understand that sometimes a person is only looking for validation of their feelings. As experienced professionals, it is our duty to explain the laws pertaining to the investigation as well as the ways we can assist in the steps to and during a divorce.
Many times, evidence other than the actual infidelity, that comes up during an investigation can play a key role in divorce proceedings.
Most people that have not yet consulted with a family law attorney are unaware that all states now allow no-fault grounds for divorce. This means that the divorcing couple can file for divorce without providing any reason. 17 states are known as “true” no-fault states, meaning that a married couple can only file on no-fault grounds.
So, what does that mean for the pictures and videos you have of your spouse cheating on you? It means that the judge will not see it, and his rulings concerning maintenance / alimony and child support will not be swayed by any evidence of infidelity.
But then what can a private investigator do to help me during my divorce?
Whatever the reason for ultimate decision to divorce, plays no real role when it comes to the actual divorce proceedings. Experienced private investigators know that what will benefit our clients most is to collect evidence for use of marital funds to facilitate an affair, spousal support / maintenance, child support and child custody.
Marital funds to facilitate an affair
Although the actual evidence of the affair does not play a role in divorce, certain facts that can be uncovered in some cases can. These are times when the cheating spouse uses martial funds on their affair. Has he or she spent large amounts of money to purchase cars, apartments, jewelry etc.… on the person they are having an affair with. A skilled private investigator can pick up on these clues and during the investigation, will provide this evidence to present to your family law attorney.
Spousal Maintenance / Child Support
This key portion of divorce proceedings is a key concern for all parties and usually is the one area that is most contested by both parties in a divorce. It usually one party that attempts to hide the assets and the other that tries to locate it. In many cases, it is usually one spouse that handles all the finances while the other may only know some basic finances of the household.
Investigations for spousal support can be generally broad and are dependent on the individuals that are the focus of the investigation. The use of forensic accountants, appraisers, financial planners and even medical professionals is common practice in divorce proceedings.
Private Investigators can locate hard to find assets, including brokerage accounts, foreign bank accounts, corporation, and business affiliations. Many times, assets are hidden behind corporations or partnerships that can only be uncovered through surveillance and other information gathering techniques.
All the evidence that is collected is done so discreetly and we work in tandem with attorneys so that the evidence we collect can be used in a court of law. This is perhaps the most important as there is no use for great evidence if it cannot be used in court.
This aspect of the investigation is the most sensitive and usually brings out the worst in individuals. Such difficult times and it is often the case that both parties forget that children are the real victims. Children are used as pawns and the accusations, lies and outlandish requests by their parents often leave the children without a voice.
It is the job of all the professionals that are involved in the divorce to address the needs of the children first.
Private Investigators are not appointed by the courts but instead by one of the parties in the divorce. So of course, we typically hear only one side of the story and all the allegations that come with it. Our job then is to conduct field investigations to verify and collect any evidence that supports the claims.