This question is usually posed in two different scenarios. This blog will deal with one of the two scenarios:
Sally comes into the divorce lawyer’s office. She has been married for at least 15 years, and she and her husband Jim have 3 minor children. “Something doesn’t seem right”, she says to her lawyer during an initial consultation. “I can’t pinpoint it, but he is acting odd”. The attorney, asks what is odd and it usually goes like this: “He is coming home later and later, saying he is working late. When I ask him about it, he gets angry with me, and accuses me of not trusting him. He leaves the house and stands in the garage to talk on his cell phone, and we haven’t had sex for over 3 months”.
OK, the attorney has a grip on this. Has heard it a thousand times before, but asks more questions:
- Has he bought any new clothes recently that are a bit more stylish…including underwear?
- Has he purchased a new car recently, that is also more stylish (rather than the van he drove)?
- Are his credit card statements going to his office or another address rather than the house?
- Has he been out of town for any work-related event over the past 3 months?
Sally wants to hire a private detective. She wants to know if her husband is cheating. The attorney is pretty sure that the husband is cheating, but only will state this if she asks. She really doesn’t want to know, and the attorney can only suspect. So…should Sally hire a private detective?
It depends on what she wants with this information. And, it depends on how much Sally is willing to spend to obtain this information. It could cost her thousands of dollars to have surveillance done by a pro on her husband for days, or even weeks before the information is solid. And if she finds out that he is cheating, and confronts him, what is she hoping to gain with this?
We have seen this again and again. Remember, that even if Sally finds out with hard evidence that Jim is and has been cheating, this only confirms that she’s not crazy with her suspicion, but in reality it doesn’t stop her from loving him over night. Certainly she’s angry, hurt and maybe still a bit in denial. But typically she is NOT yet ready to call it quits. Typically she wants him to 1) apologize …possibly every day for years; 2) go into counseling with her; and 3) STOP seeing this other woman immediately.
So, if this is Sally’s goal after obtaining absolute proof, she needs to do a risk/benefit decision as to how much money to spend to obtain this information. But, if Sally believes that this is the ONLY way she can go forward with a divorce, and she believes that with absolute proof she WILL go forward with a divorce, then it may be worth it.
The attorneys at Joseph & Joseph & Hanna, Co. LPA are VERY skilled in this area, and even without a private investigator they can typically find evidence of a paramour through rigorous discovery methods.