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How Private Investigators Can Help You Navigate Complex Divorce Issues

We all remember Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announcing their “conscious uncoupling.” Unfortunately, most separations and divorces aren’t as orderly and amicable as the Paltrow-Martin one; if you’re in the midst of navigating this process, it’s entirely normal to feel angry, sad, frustrated, and overwhelmed. But you don’t have to go through it alone.

There are all types of professionals who can help you deal with the challenges inherent in getting divorced—lawyers, therapists, mediators, and so on. Should you add a Private Investigator into the mix? If you fall under one of the below categories (or are simply struggling to find answers as you move through your divorce), here is how a Private Investigator can help:

You Have Children with Your Former Partner

When you start living apart, you need to agree on whose home the child will live in, how much time they’ll spend with each parent, and who will make the major decisions about the child. These are all part of what the Divorce Act of Canada calls “parenting arrangements” (more about this in our blog about child custody), which can be done informally or set out in writing.

But let’s say you can’t agree. What if you have concerns about your former partner having unsupervised access to your children due to a substance abuse problem, negligence, abuse, the company your former partner keeps, the places they take your children to, or something else. Your former partner may still insist on access, and then you’ll need to prove that your concerns are well-founded with solid, objective evidence. Here’s where a Private Investigator can help. They can track your former partner’s movements, and legally obtain high-quality photo and video evidence of what they are doing and whom they are doing it with. They can also surveille your former partner while they are with the children, making a record of any suspicious behaviours, and checking to make sure they’re taking the children to school, appointments, and after-school activities as scheduled.

 You Think Your Partner is Hiding Assets

To ensure that your child support payments, spousal support payments (aka alimony) and the division of your marital assets is fair, you need to know what your former partner’s income is and what their assets are worth. There are many ways to hide income and assets, such as accepting cash payments for services, laundering money through shell corporations, parking money in gift cards, and storing cash in safe deposit boxes, to name just a few. If your former partner is concealing these assets, this can impact the amount of alimony and child support that you’re entitled to, and once the initial agreement is defined in court, it can be challenging to refute. For this reason, we advise our clients to be proactive about ensuring that their former partner is being truthful about their present income and assets.

A Private Investigator can scrutinize financial records, perform an asset search for offshore accounts or properties your former partner might own, and companies that might be registered to them. They can comb through records with a skilled, highly trained eye to reveal evidence of additional income sources or hidden assets that your former partner is trying to conceal (because in our experience, money rarely stays hidden!). Sometimes an asset search will also include a surveillance operation to secure video or photography footage of the subject being paid in non-standard ways, or supplementing their income with a side-hustle, or two.

You are Filing for Divorce Based on Infidelity or Cruelty

Divorce laws vary by jurisdiction, so don’t go by what you see in the movies; always check to see where the laws are where you live. Canada has no-fault divorce, which means that you don’t have to show that one partner or the other is responsible for the breakdown of the marriage. All you need to do is live apart for a year and state that the marriage is beyond repair—no proof required.

If however, you can’t wait until the one-year separation mark, you can still get a divorce on the grounds of infidelity, or physical or mental cruelty; you will need to prove these claims with evidence that is admissible in court. Private Investigators know how to obtain evidence legally and safely, they know what kind of evidence is convincing to the court, and they have the technology and resources to get high-quality objective evidence. For even more objectivity, Private Investigators can help find witnesses to what you’re claiming and secure their testimony.

If you’re struggling with the intertwined issues of a complicated, messy divorce, give us a call to talk about how we can help. With over two decades of experience in Family Law, Divorce, & Separation Investigations, you can trust that Star Quality Private Investigations Toronto will get you the answers you need as quickly as possible and that we’ll handle your case with utmost empathy and discretion. You’re not alone when you have us by your side.

 

 

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