Investigating a cheating spouse is
a delicate matter. Several important factors need to be considered
before hand to help increase the odds of getting the proof you are
seeking and to ensure that what the investigator finds is going
to meet your needs.
Big Decision: If you need to
confirm suspicions about a cheating spouse or you already know what
they are up to but need some independent evidence, we can help.
One of the most important things to do is make the following decision
ahead of time:
Do I simply want to know what he/she is doing
for peace of mind or am I looking for evidence of infidelity to
get an advantage in court?
This is very important for the simple reason
that time is money. Our agency, like nearly all others, charge by
the hour. If you are trying to establish infidelity and prove fault
on the part of your spouse for purposes of gaining an advantage
in a divorce action, more time, documentation and investigative
work will be required. This will always involve preparing a very
detailed report, making proper identification of the other person
and likely conducting multiple days of surveillance demonstrating
this behavior to show a pattern or get the footage that proves they
are more than just "friends".
Fault in a Divorce Action: You
should understand that each state has different rules concerning
fault and distribution of assets based on same. If the courts in
your state have the latitude to give one party more assets and/or
alimony if fault (like a spouse cheating) is found, the reality
is that infidelity is very common these days and some judges are
reluctant to move away from a 50/50 split, despite proof of fault.
An analysis of how this may effect your situation should be prepared
by your attorney. Each state has varying laws about fault and its
effect on judgements, so again consult with an attorney. If you
are looking to use spousal surveillance to gain an advantage in
court, more often than not, multiple days of surveillance will be
required to show a pattern of cheating.
"I Just Want to Know the Truth". For
those of you looking for proof but not evidence for court, the surveillance
can be easier and cheaper. Why? If your spouse tells you he/she
is going to a co-workers retirement party after work but they actually
drive to someones condo and let themselves in, you probably have
all the infomation you need. A judge might need to see a bit more.
Again, time is money and the more that you can narrow down "when",
"where" and with "whom" your spouse is engaged
in this type of behavior, the cheaper, easier and more productive
the surveillance will be.
Expectations: Another thing
that we recommend is that you keep your expectations in the real
world and not in Hollywood. For every case that a priavte investigator
gets videotape of two people being intimate at a motel or in a car,
we have another where we can only follow a spouse to some place
like a large apartment building where they disappear out of sight
in some common hallway. For some, this may be enough, but for others
who need more information we may need to conduct additional surveillance
and investigative procedures to get more information about where
he/she is going or whom they are with. Although this can be frustrating,
it is sometimes unavoidable. Other times, your spouse may simply
do whatever they said they were going to do: go to the mall, meet
a friend for dinner, visit a relative. At A.S.G., our professional
field investigators capture a subject's activities discreetly and
accurately. Unlike many others, we don't limit our surveillance
to what can be seen from the window of a car. All of our operatives
are equipped with state-of-the-art long-range and hidden video cameras.
Giving us the ability to observe activity inside a subject's place
of work, in rural areas, at the mall and nearly everywhere else
they can go. The only thing we cannot do is control what your partner
will do or where they will go!
Being Discreet: Although you
may not think that your cheating spouse would ever suspect that
someone would be watching them, the majority of cheaters are well
aware of the potential for someone, likely you, to be watching them.
Cheating feels risky and exciting and watching over your shoulder
is part of what all cheaters seem to do. Other times, the cheater
is involved with someone else who is cheating making matters worse.
There are also people, possibly like your spouse, who are just agressive
drivers, looking out for the police, extremely aware of their surroundings
and all sorts of other habits which make pursuit more difficult.
To deal with this, the private investigator may use multiple vehicles
and investigators to get the job done right. This costs more, but
two people can do a better job than one at following someone in
traffic, in public places and anywhere else. Please understand that
using multiple investigators on surveillance is the norm.
Timing: Although your spouse
or significant other may spontaneously leave the house, likely meet
the other person, all private investigators have multiple clients
and lives outside of work. Sometimes our investigators will have
another matter scheduled at that moment and we may not be able to
initiate surveillance at extremely short notice. You have our promise
that if it is possible, we will be there for you, but also try and
understand if we cannot be available 24 hours a day.
Evidence: Today, almost all
investigators utilize video cameras to capture evidence. The days
where an investigator's word was all you needed are gone. Videotape
is more effective and does not lie. Make sure the investigator you
work with has the proper equipment to capture evidence both from
a car and inside a hotel, restaurant, bar or other public domain.
Hidden, body worn cameras are a must are standard equipment for
all of our investigators. If you are going to be involved in a divorce,
understand that your investigator may need to testify about the
video and the surveillance. Expect that he or she will charge you
for their time in court. This is normal for experts.