How a Private Investigator Can Prove Infidelity in a Divorce Case


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If a spouse suspects his or her partner of cheating, a private investigator may be hired to help confirm this information.

Reasons to Hire a Private Investigator for Infidelity Cases

In some cases, a spouse simply wants to confirm his or her suspicions before initiating divorce proceedings. The other spouse may deny an affair and the innocent spouse may be confused as to what is actually happening. An objective witness to events can help provide the circumstantial evidence that may be necessary for a person to make an informed decision about his or her own relationship.

In other cases, a private investigator may be hired with the intent for him or her ultimately to provide evidence that can be used in court. He or she may even testify in court as to what he or she saw. When this is required, the investigator may have to get more damaging evidence for it to be accepted as evidence of adultery. In some family law cases, acts of adultery may have an impact on the divorce. For example, some states allow the not at-fault spouse a higher amount of marital assets. A personís lack of character may be used in a custody dispute. Adultery may impact property division based on a provision in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

Privacy Matters

With everyone having a cell phone today that can capture video and audio, privacy is not as tantamount as it was in days before. Additionally, technology can allow a private investigator to collect evidence when a person mistakenly believes he or she has privacy. For example, a large-scope camera may be used on an upper floor to take pictures or video from a neighboring building. The private investigator may be able to get footage of the couple engaging in romantic activity or other suspicious activity such as going to a hotel. A private investigator may be able to place a hidden video camera in a location that is owned or under the control of the client, depending on state laws. A private investigator may conduct surveillance for a prolonged period until he or she gets damaging evidence against the other spouse.

Why a Friend Should Not Be Hired

Some people may wish to bypass the expense of hiring a private investigator and instead involve friends in trying to determine if a spouse is being unfaithful. However, this is often a mistake. In many cases, people cheat with others they know, including friends or the friend of a spouse. Even if the cheating partner is not a friend, a friend may disclose to the cheating spouse that he or she is being followed by a private investigator, making it unlikely that the private investigator would be able to get evidence of wrongdoing. Additionally, friends who follow spouses are not professionals. They may get caught, which could later blow the cover of an actual private investigator. Additionally, friends are unlikely to be aware of various laws surrounding following someone, conducting surveillance or monitoring devices, so a friend may wind up breaking a law unbeknownst to him or her. A friend may wind up being prosecuted for a crime such as trespassing or wiretapping simply by trying to help a distraught friend.

How a Private Investigator Can Help

A skilled private investigator can often obtain important information in less time and be emotionally detached while conducting the investigation. The evidence will likely be more concrete than what the client could provide on his or her own. The private investigator may be able to take pictures or video of the cheating behavior or behavior that is suspicious nature. He or she may prepare a detailed report of what was discovered. He or she may provide testimony during court of what the evidence depicts.

Consultation with a Private Investigator

Before hiring the private investigator, the client often will have a consultation with him or her. This gives the private investigator the ability to discuss his or her wishes and concerns. The private investigator may ask about certain information, such as the spouseís workplace, any potential affair partners, regular activities and hobbies. The private investigator can also discuss the potential length of the investigation and how he or she charges for services. He or she may discuss what types of services that he or she will provide, such as conducting surveillance, monitoring social media accounts or conducting a search of their assets. He or she should also explain whether there will be an additional charge for testifying in court.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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