It may sound a bit dramatic and more appropriate for a film noir, but hiring a private investigator during your divorce actually can make a lot of sense. Depending on your case, the information a PI may discover can help you in financial negotiations and custody decisions. It’s a good idea to consult your attorney before hiring a PI; your attorney may be able to refer you to a reputable and reliable investigator who may have worked successfully with your representation’s law firm. The PI can help support your in your divorce by clarifying important issues, such as:
- Hidden assets: A private investigator can help you discover assets your spouse may have hidden in order not to share them in a division of marital property. PIs have resources and access to databases that most people normally can’t use or don’t know about.
- Proof of infidelity: You may suspect your spouse of cheating, but being able to prove it may help your case for collecting spousal support. According to avvo.com, information about your spouse’s electronic communications is admissible in court when your PI has had your permission to access the computers in your home.
- Child custody: If your PI can provide a video of your spouse acting irresponsibly or becoming intoxicated while your children are with your spouse, or has witnessed your spouse breaking a law and called the police, the evidence can help your case for winning custody of your kids. PIs who specialize in child custody investigations are trained to protect the safety of children and to detect signs of child abuse, neglect, and substance abuse on the part of a custodial or non-custodial parent. PIs will work directly with your attorneys if they discover endangering behavior or incidents of concern.
Here are some tips on what to look for when you want to hire an investigator:
— Make sure the individual is licensed, and ask to see a copy of her or his license.
— Read your contract closely so you know exactly which services you want the PI to undertake and what the fees will be for services. You can ask for an estimate of hours if the PI has an hourly rate.
— Ask for references from former clients. You want the person you hire to be experienced.
— Work closely with your attorney and the PI to make sure the PI understands what type of evidence will help your case. Discuss any concerns you may have with the PI and your attorney.
The seasoned family law and divorce lawyers at the McGrath Law Firm, founded by attorney Peter McGrath, will walk you through every step of the challenging divorce process to address your concerns and achieve your goals as efficiently as possible. From spousal support, child support, fault, and equitable division of property and debt to valuations, pre-nuptial agreements, annulments, and restraining orders, the experienced attorneys at McGrath Law Firm have a successful track record in all aspects of divorce law. Call us to schedule your consultation at (800) 283-1380.