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People are increasing engaging a private detective as part of their divorce preparations. These days, this is done not only to provide proof of adultery, but to ensure that the customer receives a fair financial settlement. These divorce investigations may include locating people, providing proof of infidelity, identifying and tracing assets and providing proof of cohabitation.
The work private investigators do in providing evidence for divorce is varied. Some clients need evidence of adultery or other dishonest behaviour. This can be to confirm suspicions of an affair, to provide the evidence to help the wider family understand why a divorce is taking place or as evidence for divorce itself. These unfaithful Partner investigations often take the form of discrete surveillance, tracing of land or mobile phone lines and car and asset tracking. These investigations can either result in information that is useful in divorce proceedings or can reassure a client that their suspicions are unfounded.
Increasingly, a private investigator in divorce proceedings is also skilled in online detective work. They often use their extensive computer and asset tracing experience to trace asset movements, look for hidden assets, correctly value businesses and research a person’s movements via surveillance to provide evidence of their assets and lifestyle.
There have been a number of high profile cases recently where one partner has attempted to gain an advantage over their ex-partner by hiding assets in undeclared bank accounts or even in offshore accounts or by using accountancy tricks to minimise the value of businesses or assets.
An experienced private detective can be helpful to divorce investigations by following the trail of income and assets, not just at home, but through offshore accounts. They are also able to look for suspicious activity to determine if cash or assets were hoarded in the period before a party in the divorce was required to make an asset declaration. They may also trace the movements of a party under investigation to determine if they has visited places such as Switzerland or the British Virgin Islands which may indicate suspicious activity.
Assets are also sometimes minimised by undervaluing businesses. To determine if business valuations are fair, a forensic accountant can look through past periods to identify if suspicious activity has taken place. This may include unexplained drops in profitability in long held businesses, the recent sale of assets to friends or associates or changes to business structures or joint ventures that have been registered in offshore jurisdictions. Outstanding debts to businesses may also need to be investigated to ensure that they are genuine. Another area that may require specialist investigation is the use for trust funds where it is difficult to determine the beneficiary of any assets.
Each partner’s future financial needs will potentially be assessed by a judge when deciding the financial settlement at the time of any divorce. It is important for the judge to have an accurate picture of whether the partner looking for financial support has a new partner and whether they are cohabiting or are likely to live together in the future. As a result, a private investigator in divorce proceedings might be required to carry out surveillance to establish their lifestyle, current partner and income.
Discrete surveillance, vehicle tracking and background checks may also be necessary in child custody and maintenance cases. This is particularly true where a client suspects that there is a new partner who they are not aware of, or if they want more information about a new partner that is spending time with their child.
We are specialists in providing the information required. We can assist in documenting affairs, tracing people, finding hidden assets, identifying undervalued assets and businesses and providing proof of cohabitation.
Going through a Divorce need an Investigation?
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