At one time, divorce was a quiet practice that occurred rarely between couples who simply could not stand to live with one another anymore. Today, however, divorce is nearly as common as marriage itself, and it has become publicly litigious and a form of revenge against spouses. But should you hire a private investigator for your divorce case?
Many private investigator firms offer divorce assistance as a primary service. Indeed, it is probably a major source of income for these companies, because people going through a divorce want to come out “on top”. However, it can actually hurt your divorce case to hire a private investigator, or it can simply be money down the drain.
The major reason why people hire private investigators for divorce cases is to uncover hidden assets. An investigator has access to databanks and records that aren’t easily located by civilians, and can produce that information much quicker than you could on your own. For example, if your husband has bank accounts that are under only his name, and that you don’t know about, you could uncover those accounts with rigorous searching.
Of course, you can also hire a private investigator for your divorce case if you want to prove that he or she is engaged in immoral or illegal activities. Cheating, for example, is a common surveillance assignment for a P.I. The agent can follow your spouse to determine if he or she is having an affair with someone else, which in some states can be beneficial in court.
Additionally, you may be worried that your spouse is abusing or neglecting your children while he or she has custody, which is another reason to hire a private investigator. The agent can run surveillance to determine if your children are properly cared for, and can report back with evidence that you can use in court. Of course, these activities will make your divorce case far more messy in the long run.
Unfortunately, however, the services of a private investigator won’t come cheap. They usually charge a retainer, with billable hours and extra fees on top of that. For example, if they have to use a camera during surveillance, you may be charged for the use of that equipment. Furthermore, uncovering assets and following your spouse can eat up valuable man hours that will need to be covered by you.
Since money is a frequent issue in divorce cases, and because bankruptcy is often the only option, you’ll need to watch your spending as you attempt to take your spouse for whatever he or she is worth. You’ll need to weigh the potential benefits of hiring a private investigator against the money that it will cost and the potential damage to your relationship with your spouse and your children, taking into account the possibility that an investigation will yield few results.