In today’s digital world, complex financial transactions and the ability to sort out fact from fiction is difficult in all arenas. This is especially true in the context of divorce. A neutral investigator may assist the attorney and client in these tasks to ultimately help move the divorce along consistently with the trial objectives and presumptions in property and custody statutes.
In the past, the “private” in “private investigator” has conjured up sleazy images for attorneys and litigants, evoking the thought of illegal activity. Today, private investigators use state of the art technology matched with honed observational skills and are consummate professionals. In general, with a very specific or a broad objective, investigation services assist attorneys and clients in divorce in five key ways.
First, most litigants have a distorted or incomplete view of their finances. An investigator can objectively detail all financial information for your spouse. In fact, as a marriage begins to deteriorate, one or both spouses may go into self-preservation mode. This may entail transferring assets or covering liquid accounts. Locating cash and investment accounts for use in the case will not only reflect how the other party may have been transferring funds (likely without your knowledge), but provide full awareness of what they are prepared to spend on litigation costs against you.
Second, and related, spouses frequently hide credit issues from one another. One of the most beneficial “assets” during a divorce hearing is shedding light on any delinquency for your spouse. Locating credit information including: liens, judgments, charged off accounts, active credit cards and balances, prior bankruptcies, and tax issues can help to gain a better understanding of how financially upside-down or financially strong your spouse may be. This goes to many objectives the attorney advances on behalf of the client, including dissipation or waste of marital assets and collateral matters that sometimes arise, such as bankruptcy.
Third, most seasoned divorce attorneys assume as a fact that everyone in a divorce is prone to lying. An investigator can help you understand what is truth and what is not. As an independent, unemotional, third-party, an investigator is not subject to the persuasions, distractions, tactics and charm spouses use to manipulate information. At this point in your marriage where divorce is in play, a prudent litigant no longer takes a spouse at their word. An investigator can locate documentation to help support facts. Spouses will tell one another nearly anything to buy time or skew a situation in their favor, as a basic part of the human psyche under attack, an investigator helps to substantiate or debunk any claims that may assist in your case. Again, obtaining a fair property and custody award depends upon understanding what is at issue in a divorce.
Fourth, surveillance is one of the oldest and most reliable ways to obtain information about your spouse. How are they spending their free time? Where are they taking your kids? Now that you are separated, who are the new players in your spouses and children’s lives? Answering these questions can be crucial to your case. An investigator employs discretionary measures to obtain video and photographs to capture and detail incidents that may assist in your case. In fact, this information may make or break a case insofar as meeting a client’s legal objectives.
Fifth, divorce cases can vary in length, usually longer than planned or expected in trying to untangle the complexities of parties living together for a period of time. One of the greatest assets an investigator brings to your case is a quick delivery of results; most investigations are completed within a few business days. Gaining a quick legal understanding about your spouse can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Unfortunately, many litigants move money, hide assets, transfer debt, or make large cash withdraws immediately following a divorce filing. Ability to control this information along with documentation to support such acts, can be invaluable to your case and maximizing and preserving the marital estate.
Like many other professions, such as a custody evaluator or forensic accountant, a private investigator is an invaluable tool that may assist with maximizing your legal objectives for custody and property. This blog post was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. It is provided for general educational purposes and not specific legal advice. This is an advertisement. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys practice and handle divorce, paternity and post-divorce cases throughout the greater Indianapolis area and the State of Indiana.