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Why a private investigator may be able to help in your divorce

Some spouses seem to think that everything is fair in love and war, and they treat divorce like a battlefield where there can only be one winner.

If you're in the middle of a high-conflict divorce, you may want to consider the use of a private investigator -- particularly if you think that your spouse is hiding assets.

It's estimated that more than 7 million people in this country are hiding money from their spouses. While that could amount to nothing more than a few hundred dollars skimmed off a paycheck to support a secret bingo habit, it often involves much bigger figures among wealthy couples. If you and your spouse have significant financial assets, it's very possible that some of them are squirreled away where you can't find them.

Private investigators can help locate those assets through the use of legal means. While much of the information that private investigators obtain is available through public records, investigators are often more familiar with those databases than the average individual.

For example, if your spouse has been quietly purchasing property out of marital funds and then turning the deeds over to his brother to protect the assets during your divorce, an investigator can help you locate all of those diverted assets through records maintained by the county auditor's office.

Investigators can also put in a significant amount of legwork when necessary. For example, they can follow your spouse after work to see if he or she is making stops at a bank that might be holding a secret safety deposit box. Similarly, it isn't unusual for a cheating spouse to divert money to his or her paramour. However, in order to pull that person into court, you have to be able to identify him or her. A private investigator might be the necessary key you need to unlock that secret.

In addition, investigators in Ohio are required to have a background in law enforcement -- which means they often make reliable expert witnesses in court.

If you're going through a high-asset divorce and you don't think your spouse is coming clean about the marital assets, talk to your attorney about whether or not a private investigator makes sense for your situation.

Source: Men's Divorce, "Surveillance and Private Investigators Can Create Privacy Concerns," Mat Camp, accessed July 27, 2017

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