Private Investigators and Family Law

I've investigated and testified in family law and child custody cases throughout the entire state of Colorado. I'm sharing what I think it takes to win. No one can predict a trial or case outcome, but there are many steps you need to take to maximize your chances.

How can a private investigator help my case?

There are many types of family law cases that can benefit from information provided by an investigator. For example:
  • Child custody
    • Is the custodial parent subjecting the children to a series of random people coming in and out of the household?
    • Does the parent expose the children to inappropriate overnight guests?
    • Are there drugs present in the household?
    • Does the parent drive under the influence or otherwise endanger the children?
  • Divorce and alimony
    • Is one spouse cheating?
    • Is there evidence of hidden bank accounts or large purchases that could impact the division of marital property?
    • Are there grounds for ending alimony payments due to the ex-spouse cohabitating with a significant other?
    • Is either the husband or wife hiding assets.

Examples and Services

The keys to success? Teamwork (you, your attorney and your investigator) and hard work. Example One I had a recent case that involved issues of parenting time. Much of the case concerned whether the husband and wife, our adversaries, had been living together the last few years. Our client, a grandmother, was trying to continue visiting her grandson and being part of his upbringing. These are the steps and services:
  • Do work though an attorney. Attorneys know the courts and the issues. I cannot imagine tackling an important legal matter without a lawyer.
  • Commit to a thorough investigation and prepare to spend money. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Quality investigations take time and resources. You will need to outwork your adversary.
  • Run The Triangle. Our triangle was the attorney, the client and the private investigator. We all brought ideas and worked closely, offering feedback and updates on a daily basis. We had great communication. Payment was never an issue and always on time. We committed in every way.
  • Surveillance. We varied our times, our vehicles and checked the residence where the husband and wife supposedly lived together. Surveillance can tell you a lot about not only what you do see but about what you don't see. The subject's vehicle was almost never where he claimed to live.
  • Background check. We knew our subject already had a felony. But I checked the courts again and found information about a recent citation for drug possession. I looked into his supposed service business and found that he did not have an operational web site.
  • Databases. The database I use has a license plate reader. It showed that the subject's car repeatedly was at another residence late at night and early in the morning. Coming up with this other address was crucial because it gave us names of another landlord and more witnesses to interview.
  • Locating and interviewing witnesses. I had to find other former landlords of the subject and interview them. One potential witness never responded to attempts to interview her at work. I had to find her home address and serve her nice and early on a Saturday morning.
  • Cultivating witnesses. It's more than just dropping subpoenas on people but knowing what they are going to say or would say in trial and getting them to bring the documents you need.
  • Report writing. I can't just wing it in court. The attorney needed detailed reports and so did I when it came time to testify.
  • Credible testimony. I needed to be prepared, articulate and to appear professional.
  Example 2: Setting Your Spouse Up to Admit Guilt In another case, a male client was able to intercept his wife’s emails (probably violating privacy laws - inadmissible) and learn that she was seeing a man who was arriving in town the next evening. She told her husband that she was going out with the girls, but when the investigator followed her, she ended up at a hotel. He observed her coming out of the hotel with her boyfriend, and while they were gone in the boyfriend’s car, the client moved his wife’s car from the parking lot. The investigator contacted the police to let them know that even if the car was reported stolen, it wasn’t actually stolen. Of course, if the wife reported the car stolen, she would have to admit that she had parked it in a hotel parking lot. When the wife returned and frantically looked for her car, the client drove up in a van and threw all of her clothes onto the ground. He had gathered them in garbage bags just for this purpose. She was now officially caught and could no longer deny her affairs.   Example 3: Workplace Monitoring In another case, an employer was related to the spouse of an employee who was suspected of having an affair with a coworker. The employer hired an investigator to place a hidden video camera in the office, which caught the married employee and lover having sex numerous times during the day. So, this couple was not only guilty of avoiding work, but they were committing acts of adultery. Most of the time, people have affairs with just one person that they’ve met at work. This is why the first question an investigator usually asks a client is: “Where does your spouse work, and who works with your spouse?” Investigators say it’s much less common for a married person to pick up several lovers in bars or to be caught involved in prostitution. But it certainly isn’t unprecedented.   Part of this article was sourced from Here