There are many good reasons to ask a private investigator to assist with your family law case, but is there a chance that doing this will make divorce…messy? Perhaps you and your ex are currently on good terms; why would you risk upsetting him or her? It’s important to remember that every case is different, so there is no easy answer. As you go forward in this article, please remember that the outcome of hiring a private investigator will largely depend on who you hire, what you want the P.I. to do, how you react to what is found, and how you use the information provided to you.
Who You Hire Matters
So let’s start with who you hire. It can be really hard to choose a firm because chances are, you’ve never looked for a P.I. before. Good information can make your family law case. Conversely, bad information can make your case worse. That is why it’s important to hire someone who is qualified to to what you are asking. When deciding, make sure that the person and/or firm is licensed in the jurisdiction that you need them, and that they confirm to you in writing that they will conduct your investigation lawfully. Another important consideration to make is if the team or person you intend to hire has worked with your legal team before. It’s easier to trust a P.I. when your lawyer already knows who they are. If they are not acquainted, don’t hesitate to introduce them to your legal team. They will need to interact with the investigator going forward. You can always change companies if you are not satisfied with their work, but this is little consolation for wasted time if they weren’t a good fit.
- Article Continued Below -
To Our Newsletter
Know What You Want, and Why
Now, what do you want the P.I. to do? Do you need surveillance, background information, financials, a technician that can look for electronic devices, or something else? Maybe you don’t know yet, and that is okay. Figuring out what you need can be a bit overwhelming at times, and most people don’t really know what will actually help them until they speak to an investigator. To make sure you’re not requesting something that you don’t need, or cannot actually have, it is best to meet with the P.I., and have your legal team meet with them as well, before actually hiring them. It is important to understand what benefit (if any) you may see from an investigation. Not every investigation will help your case. Sometimes, people want answers that have nothing to do with their case. That is okay too; but you need to know up front what you are paying for, and why.
Don’t Let Emotions Get The Best Of You
Once you have the information you’ve requested, how will you react to what is found? Now that is the real wildcard. Everybody assumes that they will keep a level head and remain composed, but divorce is emotional, and it can bring out some extreme reactions, especially when they have a piece of evidence in front of them that supports something that they were trying to prove since they separated. There is no way to truly know how you will react until you actually are in that position, but the one thing that I can assure you of is that if you gloat, or rub the fact that you hired a P.I. in your former spouse’s face, they will resent it, and may be less willing to cooperate with you. However, if you follow the advice of your legal counsel and that of your investigator, the end result will be much more favourable for you.
Use Information Wisely
How will your legal team use the information gathered? Good question. Every scenario is different and it completely depends on: A) what is gathered, B) what your goal is, and C) what will make you most successful at the end of the case. In many cases, your entire investigation may be conducted under litigation privilege with maximum discretion. However, the investigation may be very overt. It really depends on the strategy of your legal team and the desired end result. Of course how that plays out will also affect how your ex reacts. In most cases, these matters are handled quietly and without too many dramatics, but you can only control your own actions and reactions.
When your case is handled professionally, and you trust the people working for you, there is a much higher chance that your divorce won’t be full of drama.