I get many private investigator questions throughout the week, and most are legitimate questions from people in terrible situations. I enjoy engaging with these people and often, they become clients. Then there are the few that make me cringe and want to immediately hang up the phone. These are the ones who you might see on the local news in a mugshot.

I wrote this to talk about the two most common questions I get and how you can get help. I threw in the others for a little humor.

1. How can a private investigator help with my divorce case?

I always flip the question and ask, “What do you want from the divorce?” If you are facing divorce, you have probably been given some ultimatums from your spouse. The significant other has requested crazy sums of money, unreasonable child custody demands, and they want the house and for you to pay for it. In the back of your mind, you have a nagging feeling there is another person along with other factors such as drug and alcohol abuse.

This is where the private investigator comes in. The investigator will document everything your spouse does to prove they are a fraud. The end report will create a story that shows that your spouse is not who they are claiming to be.

How does this help?

When you start arguing over assets in a divorce, you are looking for leverage. Videos and photos of your spouse in compromising situations provides significant leverage. With a good lawyer, this type of evidence will show a judge that your spouse is ending the marriage based on adultery.

Evidence of your spouse abusing alcohol and other destructive behavior adds to the fact that they are not interested in child welfare or the welfare of others.

“Gathering proof of fault without the guidance of an investigator is not advised, since it might put either of the spouses in a risky position in the eyes of the judge, and the methods utilized by an untrained and emotional partner can impact the results of the legal case in negative ways. Investigators are used to tackling the dangers related to exploring fault, in addition, investigations are conducted in such a way as to adhere to proper laws and procedures.”-Keifer Ramirez

2. My ex-spouse is violating the custody agreement and placing my children in danger. How can you help?

These are tough cases. Your ex has hooked up with a random person and allowing them to stay overnight in the presence of your children. Maybe they are leaving the children at home while they go out to bars. Maybe they are having parties at the home while your children are present. All in violation of the custody agreement.A private investigator will document the activities of your ex while in custody of your children. This includes surveillance, social media research, and trash grabs.

Once again, a story is built to prove the other party is a fraud and placing children in dangerous situations. Case law says that in order to have custody arrangements altered, there must be grievous and habitual evidence placing the child in danger. The investigator will show if this is happening using many tools. Since the evidence is gathered over time, these cases often take a while to prove. The report will tell a story to the judge about how your children are in danger.

“Child custody determinations are generally made with the child’s own best interests in mind, regardless of what the parents would prefer. In some cases, using a private investigator for child custody disputes can reveal whether a parent is in fact capable of providing a stable home environment for the child. In other cases, there may be concerns about child abuse or drug use by the noncustodial parent (which would be relevant for visitation determinations).”-FindLaw

Now to the crazy…

3. My wife kicked me out the house and filed a Protection From Abuse (PFA) against me. Will you put cameras in the house to see what she is up to?

No. A PFA means stay away until things cool off. If your actions against her were grievous enough, you might get some jail time. If you in fact abused her, then your chances of gaining leverage against her have diminished. I good lawyer will attempt to mitigate your losses.

4. My ex is really nasty to me in text messages and phone conversations. Can you do some things to intimidate and scare him?

I got this one a few weeks ago. First off, are you serious? It is a crime to harass someone. This person specifically asked me to sit outside her ex-husband’s home in my car to intimidate him, send him anonymous letters with threatening content, and to make spoofed phone calls. This is all considered harassment and if caught, I would lose my license to work and possibly go to jail.

So no, I am not the “fixer” or Ray Donovan. That stuff is for the movies but doesn’t work in the real world.

Bottom Line

The first two are legitimate problems people face daily. The answers are a short version of what we would discuss during a consultation. Numbers three and four are real questions. A professional will not need to bully or intimidate for information. Nor will they break the law for information.

We help with all types of investigations. Give us a call to see if we can help.