I Think My Spouse Is Cheating. Should I Hire a Private Investigator?

As a general rule, it is always wise to talk directly to a spouse about issues and concerns as they arise. Talking to a spouse is the most effective way of resolving problems in an intimate relationship (see talk about problems).

This general rule, however, does not apply when it comes to concerns about infidelity. Talking to a spouse, who is already cheating, only makes it more difficult to actually discover the truth (see how to catch a cheating spouse).

And while there are many options available when it comes to catching a husband or wife (see detecting infidelity), hiring a private investigator is by far the most effective way of doing so.

What are the benefits of hiring a Private Investigator?

Private investigators are licensed by the state to gather information and engage in surveillance. Private investigators understand what is permitted under state law. If the potential for legal proceedings exists (e.g., divorce, child custody, alimony, etc.), hiring a private investigator can help minimize your risk. Many people have obtained useful information about a spouse on their own, but were unable to use the information because of how it was obtained. Not only does hiring a private investigator help minimize the risk of information being thrown out during legal procedures, but in most cases PIs are allowed to testify on your behalf. And if negative information about your spouse is going to come out, it is usually beneficial to have a third party present the information—it will seem less biased and more credible.

Private Investigators are also better at collecting information because of their training, experience, and their lack of emotional involvement. Many people who try to catch a cheating spouse on their own, have a difficult time knowing what to look for or they become too upset while the process unfolds. We have heard from many people who have wasted months of their time trying to figure out if their spouse is cheating, but were unable to do so because they lack the investigative skills and tools which are needed. And people also tend to become too emotionally volatile when investigating their own spouse. People have a difficult time NOT confronting their spouse before they discover the full extent of the betrayal that occurred. Professional investigators simply have the added advantage of knowing how to investigate a spouse in a more objective manner.

What are the disadvantages of hiring a Private Investigator?

A major consideration when hiring a PI is the cost involved. Depending on where you live, hiring a PI can easily run into the thousands of dollars. And while there are always less expensive options available, given potential consequences involved, the additional expense may be worth every penny.

Other considerations to take into account:

Before you hire a PI, it is always wise to discuss the matter with your personal attorney (or at least talk to an attorney if you don’t have one). Given the potential legal issues that are inherent in any marital dispute, having sound legal advice can help limit your exposure. And a personal attorney can often refer you to a Private Investigator with whom he or she has worked successfully in the past.

And if you decide to hire a PI, always check for complaints that have been filed with the state agency responsible for regulating investigators in your state.

Related Information:

See more common questions.

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