How Do I Hire a Private Investigator?

Cheating Spouse Investigations:

Most of our civil and criminal case clients are very accustomed to working with private investigators. Attorneys call us up, give us a police report or case file and ask us to put together a witness list and start interviewing witnesses.

Clients who contact us about cheating spouse cases are different. They are not accustomed to working with private investigators. They are emotionally invested and want to get answers to their questions – answers that can lead to major changes in their lives. Most clients just want to know the truth once and for all. They want to have proof that can’t be explained away by a glib explanation of circumstances, which are improbable, but possible.

Unfortunately, the majority of our cheating spouse cases end up proving, not disproving the client’s suspicions. We find that if a client’s “spider senses” are tingling, there is usually a good reason for it. Even if you don’t end up hiring us, it may help you to discuss the case and bounce your concerns off of us. We have deep experience with all types of cases like yours and can likely give you some insight and perspective into the situation. We are happy to share the insight our experience with infidelity cases has given us.

If you decide you need help proving infidelity, this poses the question, how do I hire a private investigator? Please see below for information to consider.

How do I choose the right private investigator to help me?

The best way to hire a private investigator is to speak with the investigator. Make sure the investigator is focused on identifying your goal and the questions you need answered. The investigator should be flexible in the approach to the case, so that the strategy is aimed at bringing you irrefutable closure.

Is proof of infidelity, obtained by the private investigator able to be used in court in California?

It is important for client’s to know that proving infidelity will not necessarily help in a subsequent divorce proceeding. Most states in the United States, including California are “no fault states”. The judge will not be interested in the reason for the divorce and will not punish the spouse who cheated. There are some situations for which a domestic surveillance can help the outcome of legal proceedings, for instance proof of the spouse subjecting a child to unsafe activities or environment, or evidence regarding a third party, whom the spouse allows to contact the children. You will need to consult with a family law attorney about what issues will be most important to you.

Most clients for cheating spouse cases hire us for closure – to give them the information they need in order to make a life changing decision. Other clients hire us to provide proof for their family members. In some cultures, divorce is frowned upon and the client needs proof of infidelity in order to gain the support of their parents and extended family.

Should I be open and honest with the private investigator I hire?

It is important that you are honest and open with us. Our focus is truly to get you the information you need and to uncover the truth. Your being open with us will help us to do that. If your spouse suspects he might be surveilled, perhaps you confronted him or her and threatened to hire a private investigator; or if you had him or her under surveillance previously, it is important to let us know that. Please be open and honest with us. Any information you give us will be held with the utmost confidentiality and discretion.

What information do I need to provide to the private investigator?

When we speak with you about your case, We will first confirm that there are no restraining orders between the parties. If there is a restraining order, surveillance is not appropriate. We will then discuss your concerns and what you need to know as a result of the investigation. We discuss what evidence you already have and then strategize how to augment that information to achieve your objective.

We will discuss the Subject’s schedule and when the opportunity might exist for us to document the activity in question. In surveillance, knowing when and where to start is important, in order to avoid wasting time. We will then ask you for:

Subject’s home and work locations
Vehicle or other transportation used by the Subject
Color, description of vehicle and license plate
Where the vehicle is usually parked
Photo(s) of the Subject
Habitual activities that may help to anticipate their activities at a certain time and place, for instance gym workouts, walking the dog, doctors appointments and visiting relatives.

We will also talk with you about the current Some situations that may require additional operatives:
Subject lives or drives in urban areas, where traffic is heavy.
Subject is a fast driver or rides a motorcycle
Subject lives or works in a building with multiple exits, which can’t be covered from one location
Subject has been under surveillance before or is especially observant or heads up
Subject uses different modes of transportation – taxis, walking, bicycle, etc.
Surveillance at an airport

Is surveillance the best way to prove a spouse is cheating?

Cheating by a spouse is most often discovered through small hints that, taken as a whole tell a clear story, but are not conclusive. Surveillance is the best way to provide conclusive, eyes-on evidence that can’t be explained away.

Is there an agreement and retainer with the private investigator?

After we have worked out a schedule and strategy and you have provided us with a photo and information regarding the Subject, we will ask you for your full contact information. You can use a work address, but we need to know with assurance, for whom we are working. All the information you provide is confidential and no mail will ever be sent to you unless you request it, but we do need to work out a safe way to communicate effectively and for you to pay for our services confidentially. We can help you with that.
For all but the smallest cases, we prepare an Agreement, outlining what we will do and what the charges will be. We sign and then ask that you sign the Agreement and then fax, send or email it back to us. We usually ask for a retainer of 50% of the expected cost of the case to be paid in advance, with the remainder due upon completion. If plans change and the retainer is not used fully, any unused portion is completely refundable to you.

Contact us for a confidential, free consultation. 415-462-1631.