Should I Hire a Private Investigator for My Divorce?
At some point when considering a divorce, a spouse may wonder if hiring a private investigator will help their case. While private investigators can be helpful in certain situations, it is important to think carefully before doing so, unless you have the advice of a skilled family law attorney. Every situation is different, and it is important to understand what a private investigator can do and if it is worth spending the money.
Common Situations to Consider
Private investigators in film and television are often portrayed as digging up dirt, often evidence of infidelity, in a divorce. While private investigators may be helpful if a person believes infidelity is occurring, there are other common areas in which a trained private investigator could be useful. First, it is important to ensure that the person is a trained and licensed professional. Hiring a friend or other nonprofessional carries numerous risks and while saving money may seem like a primary consideration, the risks can outweigh the benefits. For example, a nontrained person could unknowingly break the law and any information gathered would be inadmissible in the divorce case.
Divorce is never an easy process and has significant emotional and financial effects on the divorcing spouses and any children. Even in an amicable split, the changes in living situation, financial stability, and emotional upheaval of suddenly being a single person represent a major life change. When a divorce is confrontational and combative, the effects are therefore compounded. It is often in more acrimonious divorces that a spouse might consider hiring a private investigator.
In cases where a spouse believes the other spouse is misrepresenting their finances or hiding assets, a trained investigator can potentially uncover evidence. Since determinations of alimony and child support require accurate information on the partner’s finances, finding evidence of hidden money or property can be a major boon. Investigators can access this information both through surveillance and skilled research and analysis. The right investigator with experience in this area can provide expertise beyond that of a private citizen, both in finding the information and assessing it for accuracy.
Trained investigators can be useful in documenting evidence of an unfaithful spouse. While many states utilize no-fault divorces, where neither spouse is at fault, finding infidelity can affect alimony and financial settlements. Other situations where a private investigator is warranted are if the spouse suspects illegal or dangerous behavior to which minor children are being exposed. A professional can provide physical surveillance in cases where one seeks to discover a situation that can affect child support, as well as child custody arrangements.
Because most people do not have experience in hiring an investigator or signing contracts, discuss this with your lawyer before proceeding. There are issues of confidentiality, contracts, and payment agreements where an experienced divorce lawyer can provide invaluable expertise. Making decisions that affect you and your children’s future is too important to do without ensuring your money is well spent and your legal rights are protected.
South Jersey Divorce Lawyers at the Burnham Law Group, LLC Help Clients Throughout Their Divorce Cases
If you are considering filing for divorce, a South Jersey divorce lawyer at the Burnham Law Group, LLC has the experience and skills you can count on to help you through the divorce process. Located in Marlton and Somers Point, New Jersey, we represent clients across South Jersey, including Camden County, Burlington County, and Atlantic County. For a free consultation, please contact us online or call us at 856-751-5505 today.