Divorce rates have fallen to their lowest level for 40 years which is said to be due to many reasons. For example, the growing acceptance of couples living together before getting married, has ultimately strengthened marriage.
Although divorce rates are decreasing, there are still hundreds of thousands of divorces per year. Whether you are currently involved in a divorce or child custody case, hiring a private investigator might be the difference between failure and success. A private detective is a professional at gathering facts that are admissible in court – which hold up during interrogation, rather than hearsay. He or she will gather documents and witnesses that prove your spouse is in the wrong.
In order to achieve a fair financial settlement in a divorce it is necessary for the court to have all the facts at hand regarding the financial circumstances of the family. However, where significant financial assets are at stake and when emotions are running high, it can sometimes be difficult to gather all the facts.
There have been several high profile divorce cases recently, where assets have allegedly been “hidden” or squandered. As happened in these cases, employing the services of a professional investigator is one way of finding information that your husband or wife may be trying to conceal.
In the past, private investigators were mainly used to prove that a husband or wife had been unfaithful in order to be granted a divorce on the basis of their adultery. The use of this type of private investigation is now extremely limited in divorce because there is very little purpose in “proving” adultery.
Nowadays, an investigator needs to be skilled with a spreadsheet rather than just a camera. In financial settlement proceedings during a divorce, both people complete a financial statement which requires full disclosure. Forensic accounting can be appropriate where there are concerns that the true extents of one person’s assets are being sheltered or hidden and there are concerns that the disclosure has been less than truthful.
It might be the case that one person has been moving significant amounts of money around, and using private or offshore accounts. A forensic accountant’s skill lies in being able to trace the flow of assets, and hopefully identify their final destination, whether that is overseas or in the UK.
Alternatively, it may be that the valuation put on a business by a spouse is suspected to be drastically undervalued, or structured in such a way that there are concerns that the true worth has been disguised.
After a divorce, a private investigator can be useful if you suspect that your partner who is receiving financial support is now living with a new partner. Where spousal maintenance is awarded with the condition of non-cohabitation, this means that maintenance payments can be stopped if the receiver remarries or cohabits with someone else. Where this is suspected, but not admitted, a private investigator might be used to prove the cohabitation.
Your solicitor will be able to advise you on whether it is appropriate to seek to involve an expert of this type in your divorce. The court expects everyone to be guided by a principle of proportionality and not to spend a disproportionate amount of the assets on expert evidence and advice.
The court also looks more favourably on experts who are instructed jointly if at all possible. This means that instead of having two experts, each with a different opinion, you and your spouse agree to employ one expert to answer the questions about the assets. The benefit of this is that it not only has the upside of producing only one opinion, and therefore reducing the likelihood of disputes arising about the conclusions, but it also has the benefit of only producing one bill to be met from the matrimonial pot of assets.
From locating people, serving court papers, finding proof of cohabitation with a new partner after separation to asset-tracing when there is a suspicion that money is being hidden, a professional investigator can be a time saving resource that can help you find the facts and secure a better financial settlement.
At Louvan Detective Agency we are an exceedingly proficient detective and investigation agency. We are focused on listening and giving direction and counsel to every one of the individuals who contact us, and in addition following up in the interest of the individuals who do turn into the client of one of our Private Investigators.