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Hiring a Private Investigator

Do you think your spouse is cheating? Hiding assets? Cohabitating? Abusing or neglecting your children? If you answered yes to any of these questions you may want to hire a private investigator.

One of the major reasons people hire private investigators for divorce cases is to uncover hidden assets. A private investigator has access to databases and records that aren't readily available to other people. Just suppose your husband has bank accounts that are under only his name that you don't know about, you could uncover those accounts with rigorous searching. They can find that information much faster than you could on their own.

Another reason for hiring a private investigator for your divorce is to prove that your spouse is cheating. Have you found receipts to restaurants or hotels; are there unfamiliar phone numbers on the cell phone bill; have they all of sudden started working long hours or become distant? Maybe it's just a hunch or a feeling. Whatever the reason, if you think your spouse is cheating you may want to hire a private investigator to find out for sure. This is a common task for private investigators and it may be beneficial to your case in some states. For some people it's just a matter of they need to know for themselves.

Additionally, you may suspect that your spouse is abusing or neglecting your children while he or she has custody, which is another reason to hire a private investigator. They can provide information and evidence pertinent to custody cases. They can investigate claims of a parent being unfit, and possibly provide documentation of alcoholism, drug use or unhealthy living conditions for your children.

Keep in mind that sometimes hiring a private investigator can be expensive and make the divorce more adversarial.

If you have decided that you need a private investigator how do you go about hiring the right one? Here are some helpful hits on choosing the right investigator:

  • First and foremost make sure your private investigator is licensed. Most states require that anyone engaging in investigations have a license. A licensed private investigator should be able to produce a copy of his license for you.
  • Like any other service, you should get a contract that includes exactly what services they will perform, on what schedule and what fees they will charge.
  • Most private investigators charge by the hour, so you may not be able to get an exact fee quoted. What you can get is their hourly rate as well as a reasonable estimate of how many hours it should take to get you the information you need.
  • Get references from clients who have used the investigator for similar services. You might not want to pay someone who has just received his license and has no experience.
  • A private investigator should be able to provide proof of bonding and liability insurance. The private investigator is acting as your agent when he's investigating your case. If he damages someone's property in the process, you could become liable if he doesn't have ample insurance. Be sure to check their coverage before signing a contract.

Once you've decided what information you are after, and which investigator you are going to use be sure to work with them to get the best results. Do not withhold information from your investigator; the more information you can give the more they can find out for you. This can save you both time and money.

Additional Resources:

Directory of Private Investigators Divorce FAQ's

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