Five Tips for Hiring a Private Investigator

To most people, cheating on a spouse is the ultimate betrayal. However, suspicion is not enough reason to file divorce proceedings, seek custody of children, or divide an estate. To prove infidelity, a spouse can hire a private investigator to find evidence of their cheating.

Try these five tips to find and hire an investigator.

1. Seek Referrals

Although you can look up nearby investigators on the internet, you should seek out someone who may have hired one. Some unscrupulous people work as investigators, and their clients pay out more money than they should.

If a friend, co-worker, or relative recently divorced, ask if they hired an investigator. They can refer him or her if they like how their case was handled and they trust the investigator. Check with acquaintances that are lawyers or police officers for referrals too.

2. Check for a License

Although not every state requires a license to be a PI, most do. Find out if the candidates for the job have licenses to work as investigators. If they don’t, scratch those people from the list and move on to those who do.

Some states are very strict about who can work with the public to investigate matters for them. They may need experience and a certain amount of hours of fieldwork, along with other qualifications to get a license. Hire someone who treats their job as a profession and acts accordingly.

3. Hire Someone of Good Character

When meeting candidates to hire a private investigator, pay attention to their character. Do they act professionally, what type of impression do they leave, and do they seem trustworthy? If their main concern is money, then be careful because that may be all they want and the work will not get done.

4. Experience with Testifying in Court

To be an expert in a court case, the judge will ask them qualifying questions to discover if they are an expert in the case. A PI with court experience is invaluable, so ask if they have given testimony in court during the first meeting.

Investigators with law enforcement backgrounds are a plus because they know the court system. They will know how to give expert testimony and what the court will expect from them. However, if they are ex-law enforcement, still do background checks before hiring them.

5. Check Their Reputation and Record

Conduct a thorough background check to find out if the PI’s record is clean. Most states that require licenses will have an association of private investigators that tracks complaints about iPIs and any disciplinary action they received.

Check their reputation as well. Contact the local police department to find out if any of the candidates have an arrest record and if they are known to local law enforcement.

Although there isn’t client/investigator privilege like there is between a lawyer and their client, a private investigator will usually keep their clients’ cases and information confidential. Use these five tips to hire an investigator to gather evidence of a cheating spouse.

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