Is It Worth It to Hire a Private Investigator for Your Divorce?

Thanks to the gift of "no-fault" provisions in the law, it's become far easier for unhappy couples to get a divorce simply because they're unhappy and incompatible with their spouses. Once upon a time, however, it was almost certainly necessary to hire a private investigator to dig up some evidence against your spouse if you wanted a divorce and he or she wasn't willing to admit in court to anything that was deemed unacceptable.

Is there any reason to hire a private investigator for a divorce today? Absolutely. While it certainly isn't necessary in every case, private investigators are still useful in a number of situations when a couple is splitting.

You think your spouse is hiding money, income, or assets.

During the divorce process, there's a period of discovery where each party is supposed to lay all their financial cards on the proverbial table so that the court can make a fair decision about things like child support, spousal support, and the division of marital goods and assets.

However, not every spouse plays along with the rules of the game. Quite a few self-employed spouses or business owners will use all kinds of financial tricks to hide their assets and income in order to avoid sharing the spoils of the marriage with their soon-to-be-ex-spouse or paying an appropriate amount of support. They may hide cash in hidden bank boxes, put property in the name of shell companies, transfer goods into a relative's name, and more. 

A private investigator can prove invaluable when it comes to proving that your spouse is hiding income or assets from the court. Your PI can track down documents, records of sale, or articles of incorporation, talk to people who might have information that you can use, and even run surveillance on your spouse to find out where he or she is hiding things.

You're in a serious custody battle for your children.

A private investigator's role in a custody battle is usually to uncover anything that one spouse might not want the court to hear about his or her lifestyle. Even if you think you know your spouse very well, he or she may be hiding a drug addiction, alcoholism, gambling addiction, or other secrets. If so, the PI's job is to find evidence of that kind of problem that can be used to tilt a custody battle in your favor. 

Private investigators have also been known to turn up information on a spouse through deep background checks—sometimes finding criminal histories that their own husbands or wives didn't know about. They can also be useful to research the background of anybody your spouse is romantically involved with if that person is around your children.

If your divorce attorney suggests a private investigator might be useful to your case, take the suggestion seriously.

Contact a law firm like the Bray & Johnson Law Firm to learn more.