Divorce proceedings can be tricky, especially when there are children and property involved. While it is up to the couple and their lawyers to hash out the differences and arrive at a settlement, the help of a private investigator in determining facts is also valuable. As the number of divorce cases in the US (can we not put Australia instead?) Increases, so does the need for PIs to help establish grounds. However, recently, investigators have also been active in issues related to asset determinations, child support, and child custody.

The PIs Role in a Divorce Case

The private investigator’s role covers a range of methods to gather evidence. This includes running surveillance, doing background checks, in-person interviews, and financial asset inquiries. These information are (should be: This information is) important in determining a spouse’s capacity to provide support for children, particularly the ability to stand as official guardian in a custody battle. It can also be used to prove that a spouse is cheating or has been engaging in illegal or unsavory activities that will drive further merit to the divorce claims. A PI can also find out if the person has hidden wealth.

Choosing the Right Private Investigator

You need a private investigator with a reputable and verifiable operation. The last thing you want is a fly-by-night hire or somebody who’ll only take your money and barely scratch the surface. It would be better if he or she is recommended by somebody you know, but in case you’ll be dealing for the first time, here are three things you should consider.

  1. Cost

The fees of a private investigator vary from state to state. It also depends on how thorough you want the inquiry to be. They also need to hold certain certifications, most of which are local to the state, so be sure to check for those, too.

  1. Contract

Always ask for a contract that details the services that will be offered. The contract will also often state the restrictions set by state, such as the inability to look into computer data, as some areas find it illegal. PIs who fail to move according to the law will create problems for you in the future. There is also a huge possibility that whatever information is found through these illegal methods will be inadmissible in court.

  1. Discretion

Your PI should guarantee that the entire operation will be discreet and private. This is for your protection. Remember, private investigator’s move under the guise of a normal person “just asking questions.” On your end, don’t tell anybody that you hired a PI. In this age of the Internet, holding your tongue is crucial, at least until he or she has completed the investigation. You don’t want your PI’s cover blown and the entire investigation falls.

Finally, before hiring a private investigator, be sure you have consulted with your family lawyer so he or she knows what’s going on. The lawyer will also ensure that the PI will obtain evidence in a legal manner so no information goes to waste. Also, be actively engaged in the entire process and provide clear instruction to get the best possible result.