Do divorcing spouses still hire private investigators?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | Family Law |

If you’ve watched a fair number of old movies and TV shows from the mid-20th century, you’ve probably seen portrayals of private investigators (PIs) following people and taking photos as proof for a suspicious spouse that they’re cheating or up to something else untoward.

Now that spouses typically don’t have to prove fault to get a divorce, this surveillance isn’t as common as it used to be. Besides, many cheating spouses are caught by a quick look at their texts or elsewhere on their phone, and it’s a lot easier to get information about someone by looking through their browser history. A Google search can help dig up information from someone’s past.

Some spouses do still hire a PI if they need to find out something their spouse doesn’t want them to know in order to get the agreement they’re seeking. For example, they may need to prove that their spouse is an irresponsible parent during their time with their child to seek greater custody rights. They may suspect that their spouse is hiding assets somewhere that they don’t want to divide in the divorce or maybe earning income they aren’t reporting.

Don’t do it on your own

It’s never wise to hire a PI yourself if you’re even considering divorce. This should be done through your legal team. They may have a PI or other type of investigator they know and trust to get the necessary information. They may advise against it since it could end up backfiring depending on the judge in your divorce.

It’s also important to consider how your spouse will react if they find out. It can make an already rancorous divorce more so. Further, unless you’ve led and continue to lead a squeaky-clean life, you probably don’t want someone digging around in it.

If you’ve already got information on your spouse gathered by a PI, it’s crucial to share it with your legal team to determine whether it’s admissible and worthwhile. If you haven’t yet taken that step, learn more about the pros and cons and whether it will help you get fair divorce agreements or complicate the process.