Client Call: Surveillance “for my divorce”.

Here’s a call you will get from potential clients as a private investigator and it’s usually from a wife asking for surveillance on her husband who she believes is being faithful, and she’s going to want it for her divorce. Let me tell you why this call is a problem.

When you get a call for surveillance you have to be successful at them. It’s one of those things. If you don’t work, you don’t eat.

Usually, this call I’m teaching you about today is from the wife and she’s suspicious that her man’s being unfaithful.

The Phrase

The key phrase that I really want you to catch is she will say she want the surveillance “for my divorce.”

The Problem

The problem is, in a lot of states, it doesn’t matter if he’s cheating or not! There’s what’s called no-fault divorces. That’s the way it is in my state. Every divorce attorney will tell you it doesn’t matter if the guy is cheating. It does not matter. It will have no bearing on the divorce whatsoever.

I’m not a lawyer. And I can’t say that that’s absolutely true. I’ve just heard this over and over again from my clients who are attorneys.

But, here’s the thing…

Whether that’s accurate or not, here’s the thing you need to explain to your potential client. You have to explain to her that his cheating may not make a difference in the divorce.

One Way to Go

I always tell the potential client, “Look. I am more than happy to do this for you, but you’re going to want to get with your attorney and determine what he or she needs to make a stronger divorce case for you. Then, if at all possible, I’ll then go get that.”

If the attorney needs the person spending two or three consecutive overnights with someone, then I can try to get that. If that happens, I can go out and capture that through the use of surveillance. If the attorney needs the cheater leaving town or spending money on hotels, or whatever it might be, I can work the surveillance to try to catch those things the attorney needs.

The Better Way to Go

The key thing is to find out from the attorney what he or she needs to make a stronger case. And the best scenario for me and usually for the client is to have the attorney hire me directly. Working directly for the attorney has many advantages for the client and me.

But, Here’s the Truth…

I explain this to clients or potential clients, and then here’s what happens. You’ll discover that the phrase “for my divorce” was just the fig leaf to cover the her intention.

Really, she just wants to know.

  • Sometimes, she wants the proof because she really knows in her heart he’s cheating, but needs to see it to go forward.
  • Sometimes she wants to catch hi so she can throw it in his face.
  • Sometimes she wants it because she genuinely doesn’t know if he’s cheating or not and she doesn’t want to make a rash decision based on just a gut feeling.

For any of those reasons, yeah, I can do surveillance for her and find the truth.

When he says that his mom is sick and he’s going out-of-town to spend the weekend with her to make sure she’s okay, we can follow him and see if that’s really what happens or not. But, the idea that she’s going to use it to further her divorce case is where you’ll run into problems.

For the rare client where that’s the true intent and not just the covering that they use to make themselves feel better about asking for surveillance, then you definitely want them talking to the attorney first, or, even better yet, you want the attorney to hire you.

Committed to your success,
Larry Kaye, P.I.

P.S. – If you are a surveillance expert and have worked in the real world doing these things, please, I’d love to hear your contributions to this discussion!


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