Should You Hire a Private Detective to Watch Your Spouse at a Holiday Party?
Posted by Writing PIs on December 9, 2012
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.
Should You Have a Legal Reason to Hire a P.I.?
According to Colorado attorney Shaun Kaufman (and one of the Writing PIs), there are two key 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:
Reason #1: 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).
Reason #2: 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.
More People Hire P.I.s During 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. Other private investigators have told us they, too, get a bump in their infidelity cases around holidays like Christmas and especially Valentine’s Day.
When these calls come into our office, the first thing we do is ask if the person has discussed these concerns with the spouse or significant other. If they say they have, and they’re still suspicious, we suggest marriage counseling. After that, we suggest hiring a PI.
A Holiday Surveillance Story
During the Christmas holidays, we’ve been hired to attend company parties or sit outside them, watching for a spouse or significant other. And we’ve spent many, many hours on surveillances.
On one such surveillance, we spent a chilly Christmas Eve outside a family home, surveilling a loud holiday party. The husband had hired us because he suspected his wife was having an affair, and he wondered if her paramour would be one of their guests. We watched for hours. By one in the morning, most of the partiers had left. We hadn’t seen anything suspicious the entire evening, and were ready to leave when we saw the wife walk outside with a man who wasn’t her husband and share a lingering holiday kiss. We took photos, which we shared with the husband the next day. Her paramour, it turned out, was his brother.
Reasons For Hiring a P.I.
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 after discovering their partner romantically involved with 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 P.I. has done this kind of work before, so he/she knows how to blend in, locate the subject, and document the case. A good P.I., 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 private investigator she’d hired called her from the hotel with the information that her husband was there with another woman.
A P.I. not calling a client at the “scene of the crime” goes back to the client being emotionally involved. A good P.I. will instead make it clear before accepting the case that the investigator will discuss the case findings after the incident has ended. At that time, armed with photographs or other evidence, the client can decide how to discuss the infidelity with the spouse…or attorney.
Don’t Play Sleuth Yourself
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 (such as cameras and recorders) 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.
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