Investigators Role in Divorce Proceedings
Divorce proceedings are rarely pleasant. Even in the case of mutual break ups, the dissolution of a marriage is a complex thing and, in instances where the trust has been broken and communication has become an issue, you may feel your ex spouse is hiding something that could affect the case.
There are a number of ways a Private Investigator can assist in divorce circumstances, particularly acting as an unbiased party which can be helpful in of itself.
First and foremost, your PI can conduct an asset search. This element of research is crucial – if you do not know the full extent of your partner’s financial situation or they attempt hide assets illegally, then you PI will be able to uncover the facts that will help you in court. Hiding assets can be done through offshore accounting, or enlisting the help of family and friends who can simply hold on to property and finances until after the proceedings. With the tools at their disposal, a PI can trace these dealings and ensure that all information is disclosed upfront. I go into hidden assets more here.
Along the same lines, your ex spouse may attempt to diminish their earnings so they are not forced to pay full income support. There are a few ways of doing this including taking a temporary cut in hours and doing work ‘cash in hand’ or ‘off the books’ (similarly to how people avoid paying tax they owe). Again your PI can use their resources to trace these kind of transactions where your lawyer may be unable to.
On the other side of the coin, if you are the party paying financial support, your ex partner may try to hide facts about their circumstances to ensure that you continue to do so. This can be done, again, by hiding earnings, or even lying about their living arrangements e.g. if they are living with a new partner. Surveillance techniques are often useful in such instances to get to the bottom of things.
You may also need prove that you are the ‘wronged’ party, and therefore not liable, by asking your PI to confirm adultery or other marital misconduct has been an issue in your relationship. If your partner refuses to admit to their wrongdoing, surveillance tactics can be employed to catch them in the act. This is particularly useful if you require a restraining order against your partner.
Surveillance can also prove integral evidence where child custody is an issue. If you can prove that your ex spouse is an unfit parent, e.g. due to unsuitable living arrangements, neglect or drug/alcohol abuse, you may be awarded full custody or, at the very least, you can insist on limiting your ex’s access to your children e.g. through supervised visitation. Fighting over child custody is often a very emotionally charged situation, so ensuring that you have the facts at your disposal rather than simply conjecture is paramount to you winning your case.
So, as you can see, whichever side of the table you are fighting from, your PI can help! Any information that your PI finds, whether it be financial documents or photographic evidence, your lawyer can use to formally request details in court, getting it on record and using to your advantage.