The 7 Deadly Sins Of Family Law Investigation – How To Avoid The Pitfalls That Add Unnecessary Costs

the seven deadly sins of family law investigation Toronto

One of the biggest problems we run in to with new clients, or those who have previously been serviced by another firm, is that clients are generally not given any guidelines or direction on what they need or how to ask for it. There are two very good reasons for that. The first and most common is that the investigation company generally makes more money when the client is not prepared. The other is that many legal teams have never reached out to an investigator before, and really don’t know what options exist or how to make those options more cost effective to their client. In an effort to help you keep your costs down, and ensure you get what you actually need, this article highlights the seven most common mistakes that clients make when an investigator is brought into their matter.

#1 Failing To Disclose

The most crucial mistake that any client will ever make in respect to their case or claim is fail to be 100% honest with A) their legal team, and B) their investigator. Often a client will tell the story in a way that they feel makes them look or sound better then they are, or were, in the situation. This is a HUGE mistake. Your legal team and your investigator share a common goal… your success. They are involved in your case to support you regardless of whether you made good or bad choices prior to hiring them. When you fail to disclose the whole truth to them, they may build a case that will not help you in the end, simply because they were not given all of the information. Your team is not there to judge you. If they do, you’re with the wrong team. Honesty = Savings. Period.

#2 Failing To Determine A Goal

Saying you have a lawyer or an investigator is great, but if you don’t know why you have them, you’re costing yourself money. You need to have a clear understanding of what you want your legal team / investigator to accomplish for you. It’s your responsibility as a client to determine what you want to achieve at the end of the road. It’s your legal team’s responsibility to make sure that you head towards that destination in a diligent and effective manner, and it is your investigator’s responsibility to make sure that you travel that road in a legally permissible manner using the best suited vehicle to get you there. In some circumstances, investigators have been known meet with a client 2-3 times before actually determining what they’re needed for, and that just adds to the bill.

#3 Failing To Listen

When their vehicle breaks down, most people take it to a mechanic and trust them to fix it. When you choose to fly to an exotic location, you trust the pilot to fly the plane safely to its destination. However, when hiring a private investigator, many people tend to second guess the information they are provided, or listen to family, friends and even television shows before they use the results that they are paying for. Your investigator is on your side. If they tell you something is a bad idea, it is your responsibility to listen and consider that information carefully. In the end, they will do what you pay them to do, but if it fails to work or adds costs, do not place the blame on your investigator.

#4 Failing To Accept The Truth

There is nothing wrong with feeling that the result of an investigation is incorrect. You have the right to ask to have it done again, or even by another party, but facts are facts. Rather than repeatedly hunting for the same results, consider the findings and allow your team to regroup on a new strategy.

#5 Having To Be Right

Your investigator is there to support you however possible, but they professional relationship they create with you is different than being a close personal friend. A lot of people waste time and money trying to convince the investigator that their point of view is the correct one; I’m sorry to be harsh, but your point of view is generally not relevant to the end result. Investigators find answers for you, it is not up to us to make them fit your scenario. You may be wrong. Just because someone told you something, or you think you know something, doesn’t mean the evidence will always back up your beliefs.

#6 Ignoring The Facts

A very costly mistake made by many people dealing with a family matter is that they will insist that the facts support them, even after they have been shown that the facts do not work in their favour. You can spend foolish amounts of money trying to prove something that can’t be proven, or you can understand that the other party may have conducted themselves differently than you anticipated. Even if that person was “always” that way with you, does not mean that they are “always” that way without you. Ignoring the facts presented to you will always cost you more than you needed to spend.

#7 Assuming Nothing Can Be Done

The majority of people dealing with a family or domestic matter become wrapped up in the emotional “roller coaster” and will often overlook very basic common sense solutions to their problems. It can be very hard to think logically at these stressful times, but you need to remember that your legal team and investigative team are their to help you in your worst moments. If you have something that you think will help you, or that you think might be relevant, share it with your team. Often we have resources that can assist you that you never even knew existed.

In short, if you are concerned about how much your family or domestic law investigation is going to cost you, the best way to help yourself is to sit down and write out: A) your goals of the investigation;  B) your time frame to get answers; C) a truthful summary of the problem(s) and how you have or have not dealt with it/them to date. This will give you a chance to see where there are gaps in your information, and help you to focus on the big picture of what you need to know. Doing this will help you and your investigator determine your requirements, their ability to provide you with answers, and most importantly, save time and money.

Axis Geffen Contributor
Axis Geffen, PI, NLNP, is the founder and president of Axis Vero Incorporated, an international private investigation firm based in Ontario. He has conducted investigations on behalf of numerous government agencies, police services, corporations and legal firms. His evidence has been presented successfully around the world and has led to convictions by the SEC, and numerous international courts.
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