A private investigator can play an important part in a family law case. Whether it is a spouse who may be cheating or a separated parent who may leaving the children with a sitter to go out at night, a private investigator’s testimony may be the evidence needed to win the case.
There is often nothing more compelling in family court than when a PI is called to the stand and starts talking about what has been discovered.
There are some important thing that you should consider before hiring a PI in your case, here are the top things:
- Listen to your lawyer. If the lawyer thinks it is not time or not worth it, don’t do it. If your lawyer says it is very important, then find a way to hire the PI.
- Budget for it. A full court press by a PI is expensive. If you are in litigation make sure you have the funds set aside to cover it.
- Know when to stop.
- Have a discussion with your attorney about work product and discovery. It can matter whether it is you who hired the PI or if your attorney has hired the PI.
- Don’t be your own private investigator.
- Don’t ask family or friends to follow the other party.
- Interview at least two private investigators before hiring.
- Once the investigation is active, ask for updates.
- Don’t ask the PI to do anything illegal. For example, there are specific laws on recording and/or intercepting electronic communciations.
Scott Allen has practicing law since 1994 and has counseled hundreds of clients through settlement and tried hundreds of cases.