Litigation in divorce cases involves a great deal of investigation to ensure that clients are adequately represented in court. After a petition for divorce is filed the parties will have a period of time to obtain documents and information to prepare for the legal proceedings. Family law and divorce attorneys have been utilizing private investigators in certain instances to assist with obtaining useful information. During the divorce proceedings the court will be deciding the following issues:
- Division of assets
- Custody of the children
The court will use equitable division to determine how assets are divided and whether alimony should be awarded. Sorting through the financial determination is straight forward for W-2 employees with standard retirement accounts. The investigation becomes more complicated when dealing with business income, expenses and parties attempting to hide assets. Private investigators, depending on their skillset, can perform forensic evaluations on laptops and cell phones to look for bank accounts, private messages, emails and the geographic location where parties have visited.
Investigations for Custody and Visitation Hearings:
During the court’s determination of custody, child support and visitation it will look to see what is in the best interest of the child. This standard may require the court to look at matters such as:
- Concerns about a new girlfriend or boyfriend of the other parent
- Concerns about possible illegal activity of the other parent
- Living conditions of the other parent
- Evidence of physical or mental abuse
The court will be looking at facts presented by either side when deciding a case. Often times these matters come down to one side’s version of the events against the other party. A private investigator can find out information such as: —
- whether the other parent’s significant other has a criminal record or incidents of violence in their past and
- whether there is illegal use of drugs or the presence of unsafe living conditions at a parent’s residence
Investigations Into Allegations of Adultery
Perhaps one of the more difficult fault-based grounds to prove in a divorce is adultery. While this certainly is one of the statutory grounds for divorce proving it can be challenging. This is in part because courts are accustomed to hearing parties in divorce cases accuse the other of cheating. Essentially, they want proof of the allegation. Cheating on a spouse does not typically happen out in the open. Cheating spouses attempt to hide their phone calls and messages, meet in inconspicuous locations and lie about their work schedules. Most investigators are well equipped to verify information such as work schedules, analyze phone records to determine where a party has been, obtain receipts from restaurants and hotels and track incriminating information online through social media.
Every divorce case is different. In instances where there are several contested issues and information is not readily available, the use of a private investigator may be helpful in arming a party with information that will assist with the case. The Faucette Law Firm, LLC guides clients through every phase of the legal process. Our firm will discuss all of your options to ensure the best possible outcome. We handle all family law and divorce matters such as contested and uncontested divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and modifications. Contact our law firm today for a consultation.