Some investigators who specialize in infidelity investigations believe that if you’re suspicious that your spouse or significant other is having an affair, holidays are a prime time to hire a private detective to watch that person, especially at company holiday parties where their guards might be down.
Note from Shaun Kaufman, Shaun Kaufman Law: There are a number of reasons why you might want to have a legal case filed, or ready to be filed, before hiring a private investigator to follow your spouse, whether at a holiday party or not. One reason is that the evidence gathered by the private investigator is given to the attorney, and then it is protected by the work product and attorney-client privileges (meaning, your attorney controls whether and when the information is released). Another reason is so that the surveillance can be tailored to the needs of the case — such as watching the soon-to-be-ex-spouse for excessive drinking/drug use and to document the amount of money the ex-spouse-to-be is spending on his paramour.
At our investigations agency, we get more “is he/she cheating?” cases around the holidays
At our agency, we specialize in legal investigations, but occasionally the “Will you investigate if my spouse is cheating?” case comes into our office, and yes, we typically get a few more of these requests around the holidays. We’ve been asked to watch the activities going on at a company party at a restaurant, for example. And a few years ago we spent a chilly Christmas Eve outside a family’s party…we were ready to leave when we caught the wife sharing a holiday kiss with her brother-in-law. The husband was right–she was seeing someone else.
If you suspect your husband or wife, or someone within whom you’re in a serious relationship, is having an affair, it’s a good idea to hire a level-headed, experienced third party–a professional private investigator–to check it out rather than take it upon yourself to play sleuth for several reasons:
You’re emotionally involved. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re tense, drinking holiday punch, feeling paranoid and looking for clues. In your fraught state, you might see clues and behaviors that don’t really exist, or are due to something quite innocent. Or, worse, you do find clues and you fall apart, grow enraged, get into a fight…not good. We’ve handled cases where nice, law-abiding people, who’ve never received so much as a speeding ticket, become out-of-control monsters after discovering their partner kissing/etc. someone else–and guess who gets hauled off to jail for disrupting the peace or worse? The finder, not the doer.
A PI has the experience and tools to document infidelity. A qualified PI has done this kind of work before, so he/she knows how to blend in, locate the subject, and document the case. A good PI, observing evidence of infidelity, does not call their client at that moment–remember the wife in Texas who ran over her dentist-husband three times in a hotel parking lot? That’s because the PI she’d hired called her from the hotel with the information that her husband was there with another woman. A PI not calling a client at the “scene of the crime” goes back to being emotionally involved (see above item). A good PI will, instead, make it clear before they accept the case that the PI discusses their findings with their client after the incident has ended. At that time, armed with photographs or other evidence, the client can decide how to discuss the infidelity with their spouse…or attorney.
If you’re tempted to skip hiring a PI and instead ask a good friend or relative to sleuth, don’t. As well meaning as friends and family are, they don’t have the background and tools (cameras, recorders, etc.) to conduct the case. Also, there’s a good chance your spouse/partner might recognize the friend or the cousin’s vehicle and be alerted what you’re up to.
If a “I think my husband/wife is cheating” call comes into our office, the first thing we do is ask if they’ve discussed these concerns between the two of them. If not, we encourage the person to do so. If they say they have, and they’re still suspicious, we suggest marriage counseling. After that, we suggest hiring a PI.
Interested in reading about the real-world of private eyes? Like reading crime stories? Check out Three Book Ideas for the Holidays.