Private investigators (PIs) aren’t as commonly used by those considering divorce or in the midst of a divorce as they used to be. For one thing, with no-fault divorce now the norm, even if you have evidence that your spouse is cheating on you, it’s likely not going to get you a better settlement.
Further, with people sharing (and oversharing) so much on social media, it’s easier to see what your soon-to-be-ex is up to than ever. Even if a divorcing spouse wisely decides to take a social media break, they can’t stop friends and acquaintances from posting.
How a PI might help in a child custody or support dispute
One area where you may find it worthwhile to have a PI is if you’re battling your co-parent over custody and visitation rights. You may have valid concerns that your co-parent is not living a life that’s safe or healthy for your children to be around.
A licensed PI can do background checks, talk to witnesses and do some surveillance. They may also be able to produce evidence that a parent isn’t abiding by the terms of the parenting plan or other agreements regarding the children.
A PI can also help determine if a parent has more money than they’re disclosing for purposes of child support – and perhaps is spending it on themselves or other things. They may be able to find hidden assets (although so can a forensic accountant) and expenditures.
Don’t hire a PI on your own
If you think a PI would be beneficial to one or more aspects of your divorce, you should never hire one without first getting legal guidance. Discuss the matter with your family law attorney and get their recommendations on whether it will help your case or harm it.