How Can a Private Investigator Help Your Divorce Case?
- Who needs a private investigator in divorce?
- How a PI can help your divorce process
- Is PI evidence admissible in court?
- How can I find a private investigator to help my divorce case?
Do you need a private investigator to help with your divorce case? Though it may sound like added stress and cost to involve such a professional, in some cases, it may be in your best interest to hire one.
Who needs a private investigator in divorce?
A private investigator may be needed in a variety of situations, including the following:
Infidelity and dishonesty often go hand in hand. If you believe your partner may be cheating on you, a private investigator can gather evidence to confirm or deny your suspicions.
Child custody investigations
In cases where child custody is contested, a private investigator can gather information about the other parent's lifestyle and habits to help build a case for custody.
If you suspect that your spouse is hiding money or assets, a private investigator can gather evidence to support your claim.
In cases where financial assets are in question during divorce proceedings or debt collection efforts, a private investigator can help discover hidden assets (like community property) that should be part of your divorce settlement.
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Types of research a divorce PI can do
When it comes to divorce cases, a private investigator can be hired to conduct a variety of searches and investigations. While not necessary in every divorce, if you're in a contentious divorce, hiring a private investigator could be beneficial.
Gathering evidence of misconduct
A private investigator can gather evidence of infidelity, substance abuse, or other forms of misconduct that may be relevant in divorce proceedings. This evidence can be used to support claims for alimony, child custody, or property division.
Finding hidden assets
In some cases, as mentioned, one spouse may attempt to hide assets from the other during divorce proceedings. A private investigator can use various methods, such as surveillance and financial analysis, to locate hidden money, real estate, or other assets and provide proof of their existence.
Background checks and similar research
If child custody is contested in a divorce case, a private investigator can investigate the other parent's lifestyle and habits to determine if they are fit to care for the child. This may involve conducting background checks, interviewing witnesses, or other means of research that could prove neglect or abuse in court.
Private investigators can conduct financial investigations that pinpoint instances of fraud and undisclosed sources of income for either party.
Social media monitoring
Social media accounts can provide valuable information about an individual's activities and relationships. Private investigators can monitor social media accounts to gather evidence of infidelity or inappropriate behavior that may be relevant in divorce proceedings.
Is PI evidence legal in court?
Private investigator evidence can be legal in court as long as it was obtained legally and is relevant to the case. Private investigators are required to follow all applicable laws when gathering evidence, and any evidence they obtain through illegal means may not be admissible in court.
If evidence was obtained legally and is relevant to the case, it can be presented in court like any other form of evidence. This could include surveillance footage, witness testimony, or financial records that the investigator obtained through lawful means.
It's important to note that private investigators are not legal experts and cannot provide legal advice or represent clients in court. Often, they work alongside attorneys to gather evidence and provide support for a client's case. Ultimately, it is up to the judge to determine whether private investigator evidence is admissible in court based on its relevance and legality.
How can I find a private investigator to help my divorce case?
There are several ways to find a private investigator to help with your divorce case.
- Ask for referrals. You can ask your attorney or other professionals you trust, such as friends or family members, for recommendations of reputable investigation services.
- Conduct an online search. You can conduct an online search for private investigators in your area and read reviews from past clients to help you make an informed decision.
- Check professional associations. Professional associations such as the National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI) and the National Association of Private Investigators (NAPI) maintain directories of their members that you can use to find qualified investigators.
- Contact state licensing agencies. In many states, private investigators are required to be licensed. You can contact your state's licensing agency to obtain a list of licensed private investigators in your area.
Once you have identified potential candidates, it's important to do your due diligence before hiring a private investigator. Interview them to assess their experience and qualifications, ask for references from past clients, and make sure they have the necessary licenses and insurance coverage.
It's also important to discuss fees upfront and get a written agreement outlining the scope of work and expected costs so there are no surprises later on.
While a PI can be a costly addition to your divorce, it could give you the information you need to help you move forward. At Hello Divorce, we’re committed to delivering the information and services our clients need. Schedule a 15-minute free call with us to learn more about what we offer.