If you suspect your spouse might be cheating, there are many, many ways to go about finding them out and collecting a range of evidence. One of the most efficient, however, might be to hire a private investigator. For a relatively small amount of money, perhaps $ 800 to $ 1000 and some good timing, you can have peace of mind and know once and for all about your partner’s suspected infidelity.
Private investigators aren’t what popular culture has made them out to be. They aren’t like the film noir private eyes, or like Magnum, P.I. Private investigators are licensed professionals, usually (and hopefully) with a background in criminology and an understanding of investigative techniques. The favorite tool of a private investigator isn’t a gun, it’s a camera.
Make sure that the private investigator that you choose is licensed. Most states require that those engaging in “investigations” and those calling themselves “investigators” are licensed. A copy of this document should be easily available for your perusal when you ask for it…and always ask for it! Some services offered through online companies, such as credit checks, criminal record checks, and background checks, qualify as “information brokerages” but are not private investigators and are therefore not licensed. This creates a ripe market for disreputable companies and scam artists. It’s best to go with a licensed investigator instead.
Make sure you sign a contract. Like any service that is exchanged for money, private investigation is a business, and a legitimate one. Private investigators don’t lurk in the shadows or gray areas of legality – they are business people. Any P.I. refusing to draw up a contract should not be worked with.
Ask about experience. Previous investigative experience is essential to a successful investigation, particularly with an issue as sensitive as spousal infidelity. Not only are you paying for the investigator’s time (which may be squandered if they are inexperienced), you are paying for confidentiality. An inexperienced investigator may accidentally give away the fact that he is following your spouse, and then you may never know the truth. Often, people go into the field of private investigation through a quick 2-month certification course. Ask about you P.I.’s background and career history.
Make sure your investigator is insured. When you hire a private investigator, that individual and representatives of his company, become your agents. Legally, anything they do in your service is your responsibility. If, in the course of your contracted investigation, the P.I. inflicts damage on property or person, causes harm to be done – even gets in a car accident – it can fall on your shoulders. Make sure that you discuss this eventuality with the investigator before any action is taken, make sure that it’s included in the contract, and make sure that the agency has insurance to cover any damages that may occur.
Shop around for prices, but remember that hiring a private investigator is a great example of the old adage, “you get what you pay for.” More professional experience, better equipment, and general know-how will usually cost more. The trade-off, however, is that with better equipment and more experience, the investigation might be concluded in a weekend, rather than a week.