The Purpose and Process of Having a Private Investigator for Your Divorce Case in New Jersey

Private Investigators Use a Series of Tools and Approaches to Uncover Valuable Information that May be Useful to Resolve a Matrimonial or Family Law-Related Matter.

The Purpose and Process of Having a Private Investigator for Your Divorce Case in New JerseyA private investigator (PI), also known as a private detective, is a professional hired to undertake investigations and gather information on behalf of individuals, businesses, or organizations. PIs often work in the private sector, providing services that law enforcement agencies do not typically handle. Overall, the role of a private investigator is to uncover information, gather evidence, and provide valuable insights to help clients make informed decisions or resolve complex situations.  Their services vary greatly depending on the specific case and client’s needs, but several everyday tasks and responsibilities are associated with the profession. In some cases, matrimonial and family law matters benefit from additional information that private investigators can be called upon to find. You or your ex may be considering hiring a private investigator for your divorce or custody matter, so knowing what these professionals do and how they can offer value is important to make the best decision for your case.

Typical Reasons why People Hire Private Investigators in NJ

Private investigators are often hired to conduct surveillance on individuals or locations. They may use various techniques and equipment to monitor activities and gather evidence discreetly. PIs are skilled at conducting thorough background investigations on individuals. They can uncover personal, financial, or professional information to help clients make informed decisions. Whether it’s finding a missing person, a long-lost relative, or a witness, private investigators have the tools and expertise to locate individuals through various means, including database searches, interviews, and surveillance.

PIs are skilled at collecting evidence that can be used in legal proceedings. They may interview witnesses, take photographs or videos, gather documents, and document their findings in a detailed report. Private investigators often uncover fraudulent activities, such as insurance fraud or corporate fraud. They may analyze financial records, interview suspects, and work closely with law enforcement agencies when necessary. They assist businesses in conducting due diligence investigations before entering into partnerships, mergers, or acquisitions. They verify individuals’ or companies’ backgrounds, reputations, and financial stability, helping clients make informed decisions.

Some private investigators specialize in providing personal protection services to individuals or high-profile clients. They assess potential threats, develop security plans, and ensure the safety of their clients. PIs may be hired to investigate cases of intellectual property theft or infringement. They can gather evidence to support legal actions and help businesses protect their proprietary information. Private investigators may be called upon to present their findings and testify as expert witnesses in legal proceedings. Their investigative skills and expertise can provide valuable insights and support to legal cases.

It’s important to note that private investigators must adhere to legal and ethical standards while performing their duties. They must respect privacy laws, maintain confidentiality, obtain proper permissions when required, obtain proper permissions when required, and conduct their investigations within the boundaries of the law.

How Do Private Investigators Get Their Information?

Private investigators employ various techniques and approaches to gather information and conduct investigations. The specific methods used can vary depending on the nature of the case, legal requirements, and the investigator’s expertise. Surveillance is a fundamental technique used by private investigators. They may conduct physical surveillance, using observation and documentation to gather evidence. They can also employ modern technology, such as hidden cameras or GPS tracking devices, to monitor the activities of individuals or track vehicles.

Private investigators have access to various databases and resources to gather information about individuals, such as public records, court documents, property records, and professional licenses. They use these sources to conduct background checks, locate individuals, or verify information. They often conduct interviews with relevant individuals to gather information or obtain statements. They are skilled in conducting effective interviews, asking pertinent questions, and obtaining valuable insights from witnesses, suspects, or other involved parties.

Private investigators may occasionally assume undercover roles to gather information discreetly. This could involve infiltrating a group or organization, working alongside individuals of interest, or adopting false identities to access restricted areas or conversations. PIs utilize open-source intelligence, gathering information from publicly available sources such as social media, online forums, news articles, and public records. This can provide valuable leads and insights during an investigation.

Private investigators with expertise in forensics can employ specialized techniques to analyze evidence. This includes analyzing documents, fingerprints, DNA samples, computer forensics, or other forms of scientific examination to uncover important information or solve complex cases. They conduct financial investigations, track money trails, identify assets, and uncover fraudulent activities. They may analyze financial records, follow paper trails, and work closely with forensic accountants to uncover hidden assets or financial irregularities.

With the increasing use of technology, private investigators specialize in digital and cyber investigations. They can retrieve data from electronic devices, analyze online activities, track IP addresses, and uncover evidence related to cybercrimes, online fraud, or digital theft. These professionals often collaborate with other professionals to support their investigations. This may involve working with forensic experts, attorneys, law enforcement agencies, or industry specialists to gather specialized knowledge or to strengthen their cases.

Each investigation is unique, and private investigators assess the case requirements and utilize a combination of techniques and approaches to achieve their objectives effectively and efficiently.

How is the Information Gathered By a Private Investigator Used in Family Law Issues?

How Private Investigators Collect Evidence for your Family Case in NJOne of the most common reasons individuals hire private investigators during divorce proceedings is to gather evidence of infidelity or marital misconduct. If the investigator uncovers proof of a spouse’s extramarital affairs or other inappropriate behavior, it can affect issues such as child custody, spousal support, or property division.

Private investigators can be hired to gather evidence related to a parent’s fitness or behavior when child custody and visitation are at stake. This can involve observing the parent’s activities, documenting potential risks or inappropriate behavior, and presenting the findings as evidence supporting child custody determinations.

By uncovering hidden assets, undisclosed income, or other forms of financial deception during a divorce by thoroughly examining financial records, transactions, and surveillance, they can gather evidence of financial discrepancies, influencing property division and support obligations. Lastly, private investigators may sometimes gather evidence of a former spouse’s cohabitation or cohabitation-like relationships. If a divorced individual claims their ex-spouse is in a committed relationship or living with a new partner, it can impact issues such as spousal support.

How Compelling is the Information Gathered by Private Investigators in Family Court?

In Mani v. Mani, Brenda Mani filed for divorce against her husband, James Mani, for adultery and extreme cruelty when it came to her attention that James was involved in an affair. She came from a wealthy family and supported their lavish lifestyle through several family-owned businesses.  They had no children but were at odds with the alimony amount set forth at the time of the divorce of $610 a week.  James was seeking more than twice that, but the appellate court affirmed the original decision, holding that the decrease in his alimony amount was due to his adultery. James appealed, and the New Jersey Supreme Court agreed that his adultery was inconsequential unless his actions egregiously altered the financial panorama (by buying his mistress expensive items or taking exotic vacations). He should receive a fair amount of alimony to keep him at a standard of living with which he was comfortable.

A Knowledgeable NJ Family Lawyer can Help You Determine if Retaining  a Private Investigator is a Good Fit for You

The attorneys at the Montanari Law Group can give you advice, advocate for you and your children, and provide a clear plan for alimony, custody, and child support.  We know that the process of divorce is emotionally stressful, and while it won’t be a walk in the park, having someone in your corner to look out for your best interests will certainly make it easier.

Our seasoned attorneys are expert negotiators with the experience needed to handle your divorce in West Orange, Haledon, Elmwood Park, Hawthorne, Montclair, Wayne, Short Hills, Verona, and surrounding areas in Passaic, Bergen, and Essex County, NJ.  We know your rights and will do everything possible to get you your fair share.  We aren’t afraid to go to court if need be and know how to navigate the court system.

If you have made the difficult decision to file for divorce or would like to receive more information about what your options are to resolve a family law case, contact us at (973) 233-4396 or use our online form to request a free consultation.


To speak with one of our highly knowledgeable attorneys, contact us today at (973)-233-4396 or toll-free at (888)-877-7985. You can also complete the form below to begin your conversation. We are a personalized, boutique-style law firm that offers free initial consultations and flexible appointment options.