One of the perks of being a divorce attorney is you get to be acquainted with a number of other people who have really cool jobs. This post is about Private Investigators (PIs), when to use them and what they need from you.
I have previously posted of some of the potential warning signs of an affair. (click here) If you have suspicions that your spouse may be having an affair it may be wise to hire a PI. A PI can follow your spouse, take pictures, document their whereabouts and identify third persons that your spouse may be with. In addition to adultery situations, PIs may also be useful in locating hard-to-find persons/witnesses and even completing service of process. A PI can also play a role in custody cases in documenting the other parent’s living conditions, if a third-party is sleeping over and the other parent’s comings and goings.
PIs have come a long way from hiding in the bushes snapping pictures, though it still happens. There are hi-tech means of surveillance, GPS tracking abilities and computer forensics which can discover that nothing is truly deleted!
Here’s a starter list to provide a PI in the event you choose to hire one.
Pictures of who they are to follow.
Pictures and tag # of the car(s) they are to follow.
Where that person works and normal office hours.
Where that person hangs out, works out and/or chills out.
The usual routine; ie: on Wednesdays he always goes to Buffalo Wild Wings.
Address of the home and anywhere else the person may be staying.
List of suspected paramour(s).
Any and all information you have about paramour(s).
Your usual routine, too. Knowing this the PI may be able to catch you-know-who where they should not be when you are at the Wednesday evening service.
Talk to the PI about fees. These are not covered in attorney fees. PIs usually charge a retainer and bill by the hour and for mileage. Be careful about having your spouse followed to New Orleans, it may not be worth it if you don’t get the goods. Also, make sure the PI generates a report, pictures and will testify in Court, if necessary.
The use of a PI is discoverable in litigation, which means if you use one and are asked about it you will have to disclose it. Stay tuned for a blog about what to do if you think you are being followed.
Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney that leaves the private investigation to the PIs, but does review the pictures and videos from the investigations, as it is required by his job!
Unless you live in a cave, or in the path of Hurricane Sandy, you have heard about the CIA director’s recent revelation that he was having an affair. It resulted in his immediate resignation which was accepted by the White House. While the full details will likely never be known, the fact remains that the head of the CIA, arguably a person who could keep a secret, had a big secret of his own exposed. (I realize conspiracy theories abound as to why, but that’s not the point.)
I am often asked what are some signs of an Affair. Below are some common red flags to look for;
Guarded of the Cell Phone. The phone is password protected and/or never off of their person.
A Second Cell Phone. They have a 2nd phone without a need or the other phone is secret.
Change in Attire. The spouse is dressing in trendier clothes or “younger” or more “revealing” clothes.
New Undies. Provocative undergarments appear that you don’t see in use.
Working out. A sudden change in their workout regimen, without a scare from the Dr. and it’s not New Year’s Day.
Body Grooming. Manscaping, or new cologne, perfumes, etc.
Tanning. A sudden desire to tan.
Teeth Whitening. All of a sudden caring about hygiene when they previously did not so much.
Body Augmentation. Having lifts or lipos.
New Career. A career shift that is out of the ordinary.
Longer Work Hours. Having to work late, a lot more often, and out-of-town travel when they previously did not.
Unexplained Absences. Going to the store for some milk and being gone 6 hours.
Bad On-Line Habits. Surfing at all hours of the night, deleting the browser history.
FaceBooking Old Flames.
Financial Shenanigans. Raiding joint accounts or creating new accounts and directing their monies to those.
If you see a number of these warning signs, keep your eyes and ears open, your wits about you and go see an attorney.
Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi and believes if the CIA can’t cover up an affair, you probably can’t either.