Many people think that using a PI to help with an adultery investigation is a waste of time and money. The private investigation business is wrought with horrible stories of detectives taking money and then doing nothing. There are some out there that will take your money and then disappear.
Teaming up with a professional investigator can have a positive impact, both financially and emotionally if you are having difficulties with an adulterous spouse.
Here are 3 reasons you need to hire a private investigator:
1. Need to know
Many of my clients just “want to know” if their suspicions are factual. Some of you reading may think that spending thousands of dollars to have someone follow your spouse around is ridiculous. The big question is: How often do you think about their activities?
Sleepless nights and worry will only exacerbate family troubles. Leaving it in the hands of a professional can give you less worry. Often, potential clients will attempt to take on aspects of an investigation themselves. Surveillance, phone records review, background checks, and the other key tasks take up huge amounts of time. A real investigator will conduct these tasks for you so you can focus on your children and relax.
If evidence of an affair is uncovered by a true professional, two things happen. First, you know that your suspicions were correct and you are not crazy. Second, the PI will present evidence to your attorney for use in court.
“You may be able to uncover useful evidence against your spouse on your own, but if it is obtained illegally, your hard earned evidence could get thrown out in legal proceedings. Furthermore, you can even get in legal trouble yourself if you violate the law. There are privacy and stalking laws to take into account.”
-Alexander & Doyle, PA
2. Negotiation Leverage
Once evidence of an affair is obtained, this information will be used by a good attorney as leverage in the divorce negotiation. Yes, it is a negotiation. There can be a temptation to “get back” at the other spouse because they destroyed your marriage over an affair. You must resist the temptation to allow emotion to drive your decision making.
That is where the reputable attorney comes in. She will direct you using logic as opposed to the fluctuating emotions you will experience. The leverage gained by the PI acts as your “ace in the hole”. Remember, anything submitted to the court will become public record once the judge signs off on everything. If the PI caught your spouse in a compromising situation, your spouse will not want this information made public. This is especially true when the information could be found by employers, investors, and other concerned parties.
Is this blackmail or extortion? Lawyers know how to position leverage legally. They would never say verbally or in the written word “Do this, or you will get this.” They make it known during mediation and depositions that the information is out there. This will often bring the other party to the negotiating table.
Always consult with an attorney before making any legal decision.
3. Why does it all matter?
I am not an attorney. The following information is derived from observing hundreds of divorce proceedings and from client testimonials. I have heard it many times from Alabama lawyers, “The division of marital assets will be equitable, so a PI is not necessary.” If this is the case, why do so many “good” family attorneys still use PIs to prove infidelity? Here are a few reasons:
- Often times the cheating spouse hides assets or uses “secret” funds to finance the affair. A good lawyer will argue that the cheater has assets he is hiding from his spouse and children. If proven factual, this destroys the credibility of the opposing party.
- If one spouse has been staying at home and managing the children, and the other spouse has been out re-living their college years, an argument can be made that the cheater does not manage assets properly.
- In all the infidelity cases I have investigated, the adulterer is usually engaged in alcohol and/or drug abuse. They are living out some fantasy they do not get at home because children are usually present. They appear unstable and dishonest. Who do you think deserves to manage the assets accumulated during the marriage?
- Paramours are either a. married, b. abuse alcohol or drugs, or c. all the above. The judgment of the cheater comes in to question when there is proof of an ongoing relationship outside of the marriage.
All the above examples may result in a judge awarding you “fair” split that looks more like a 60/40 or 70/30 division of assets on paper, but equitable in the eyes of the court. So, the fee you pay for an investigation coupled with a quality attorney will be covered easily when large amounts of money are at stake.
“If you suspect that your spouse may be passing community property to their extramarital partner, a private investigator will assist in proving these actions, aiding your case for recovery.”
-Michael R. Young, Attorney
I have witnessed clients get awarded significant amounts when proof of infidelity is laid in front of the opposing party. Many times these are awarded outside the court room because the other party does not want to be exposed publicly. A good lawyer will guide you in this regard and recommend a quality investigator to help. The initial fees may seem overwhelming now, but with quality evidence, the retainers should be viewed as an investment in the future of your family.