Most Pennsylvania divorcees will be able to get through the entire process from start to finish without ever having to hire a PI for any reason.
Yet there are some instances in which hiding a PI can be advantageous or appropriate.
Do you think your spouse is hiding assets?
Attempts to hide assets are exceptionally common in many divorces, especially when one or both parties has a lot of assets to hide. Some spouses even hide assets before the marriage dissolves.
And there are even a whole host of new ways to attempt it, like investing in Bitcoin.
In this case, finding a PI who specializes in asset location is a great move.
The right PI can not only prove hidden assets exist, he or she can often locate them as well.
Do you think your spouse had an affair?
While it makes no difference to the division of marital assets or to child custody, there are instances where proving an affair can impact your case.
- If you’re likely to be on the hook for spousal support, proving adultery can help you because under Pennsylvania law the spouse that committed an adultery leading to the dissolution of the marriage is not eligible for alimony.
- If you are likely to receive alimony and believe your spouse spent a great deal of money on the other man or other woman then proving this fact can entitle you to a bigger alimony payment.
- If you intend to file a fault-based divorce to avoid the waiting period, and need the evidence of the affair to prove your spouse as at fault.
Just be sure your expectations are realistic when it comes to determining what proof of an affair can and can’t do for your divorce case.
Do you need to prove abuse, neglect, or unfit parenting in your child custody case?
Unsubstantiated claims of abuse or neglect are worse than useless in a PA divorce case. They can in fact actively backfire, opening you up to accusations of parental alienation. Leaving judges to separate truth from falsehood without any proof at all is an exercise for frustration all around.
But bringing in a PI to locate and document evidence of abuse or neglect can give you exactly what you need to protect yourself.
The PI may also be able to locate evidence of irresponsible behavior, such as dropping the child off with a sitter every night to run off and party, or proving your ex is using alcohol and drugs around the child.
Has your lawyer suggested hiring a PI for other reasons?
There may be times we recommend hiring a PI for other case-related reasons. If we do, we’ll always tell you exactly why and what we think the PI will find or prove.
If you’re not sure about hiring a PI for any of the reasons above, you can always consult with us to find out.
If you do hire a PI, make sure he or she is a reputable one who follows all applicable federal and state laws. PIs who break the laws to make their case endanger yours, and you’ll end up paying a pretty penny just to weaken your case.
By the way, don’t hire a PI before you hire a divorce lawyer. Doing so may be utterly unnecessary and unhelpful. You might as well get through your free consultation with us before you you spend the money.