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Why use a Private Investigator during the divorce process?

by Josef Kafka

Divorce can be challenging at the best of times. However, where the relationship between you and your partner has broken down, or you suspect they are not truthful, this can make the process particularly difficult. Where you suspect your partner is hiding something from you, suspicions, doubts and personal investigation can be all-consuming. But we can help.

There are many ways in which a private investigator can help you throughout the divorce and separation process, from suspicion of adultery to asset tracing in financial settlement litigation. In this post, we look at some of the critical ways private investigators can help you to build a strong case in divorce proceedings.

Suspected Infidelity

Where you suspect your partner is unfaithful, this can have a significant impact on your relationship and family life, but also separation agreements or divorce proceedings. Many of our clients who come to us about suspected infidelity want to know the truth, so they can decide on how best to proceed. Often, private investigators uncover that suspicions turn out to be unfounded. However, they are often an essential part of the decision making process when it comes to relationships. When working with a lawyer, evidence gathered by a private investigator can be vital to the outcome of a client’s case. Often the private investigator will work with a lawyer to determine exactly what evidence is required to support claims of infidelity and the resulting financial claims.

Grounds for Filing for Divorce

Under the current law, to divorce from your partner, you must cite one of five grounds. Such grounds include adultery and unreasonable behaviour. A private investigator can help you to gather evidence of adultery or unreasonable behaviour to support your divorce petition. The grounds may also have an impact on your financial settlement.

Asset Tracing

If you suspect that your former partner may be failing to disclose information, hiding assets, not revealing all of their income, or undervaluing their business, a private investigator can help get to the bottom of matters. Often, one party to a divorce will be reluctant to fully disclose their actual earnings or the extent of their assets, to avoid these assets being divided.

A private investigator can help you to:

- Get a clear and accurate picture of your partners assets and financial situation
- Get an accurate valuation of all of the assets uncovered
- Discover assets that have been hidden
- Achieve a fairer financial settlement taking into account the updated value of marital assets

Often family lawyers may need to act quickly in these situations to impose a freezing order, preventing assets from being hidden or disposed of. A private investigator can help gather evidence quickly and discreetly to support your claims, as well as investigate the accuracy of claims made by your former partner. This may be particularly relevant to your case where there are international or offshore assets.

Cohabitation with a New Partner

You may suspect that a partner who is claiming maintenance payments is living with a new partner. Where your former partner has begun a new relationship and is cohabiting with someone else, this can have a significant impact on any order of maintenance payments that have been made against you. This was made clear in the case of Grey v Grey, where evidence from private investigators was pivotal in the outcome of the case.

Business valuation

Similarly, we can also provide evidence that a former partner isn’t truthful about the true value of their business, or the extent of their business assets. Even where you do not stand to take a share of the business, the value of the business can have an impact on the likely income that could be taken by your former partner. This can have a significant effect on maintenance payments or financial settlement.

Service of Court papers

It may be the case that you simply cannot find the person you are married to because they have deserted you or have simply gone missing. A private investigator can help you to trace your spouse, and serve court papers on them where you wish to petition for divorce.

How will my suspicions be investigated?

In such cases, our private investigators will utilise all legal methods to investigate your claim. It’s of utmost importance that the evidence can be used in court proceedings if necessary, so we ensure none of the measures our investigators take will jeopardise that. We gather evidence such as:

- Date-stamped photographs
- Vehicle tracking
- Electronic resource gathering
- Social Media evidence

We often need to be creative about gathering evidence without breaching privacy rules. Our investigators are discreet, and your partner will be unaware the investigation is being carried out.

If you are interested in taking on an investigator to help you with your divorce, or for any reason, don’t hesitate to call 1st Call Detectives on 0845 520 4121 or complete our online form to discuss options available to you.

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