Do the right thing…even when no one is looking. Great advice from Greg Cook, one of the top private investigators in the country (and, thankfully, stationed right here in the Twin Cities). Greg and I had lunch the other day and engaged in a long discussion about the uses of a private investigator in family law cases despite the fact that Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state.

In terms of property issues, some spouses falsely assume that they can hide assets from the other. Divorce fraud is perpetrated when one party fails to inform the other party of all assets one owns. All searches conducted by Greg and his staff abide by laws and regulations set forth in the Fair Credit Reporting Act, The Fair Debt Collections Practice Act, and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA). Despite these hoops, they are able to locate bank accounts, cars, homes, boats, business interests, securities and any other tangible property interests held by your spouse.

Individuals asked to pay alimony often under report their income – in an attempt to persuade the court to believe that they don’t make enough money to afford to pay. Similarly, a spouse seeking alimony may also under report their income – in an attempt to persuade the court to believe that they don’t make enough money to meet their monthly expenses. Investigative methods can prove whether a subject has a place of employment not being reported or there is co-habitation involved (which could decrease alimony and monetary support decisions made by a court based on reduced financial need in your spouse).

Infidelity may be proven through surveillance. Keep in mind, the act of cheating is not a basis to seek a disproportionate award of marital property or custody of your kids. However, much can be learned about a person by knowing the company they keep. Does your spouse’s lover have a criminal record? Are your children being neglected while your spouse is out with someone else? If the children form a relationship with this person, what sort of home environment will they be subjected to? Answers to these questions are relevant to the court in determining what is in the best interest of your kids.

In addition to information relating to your spouse, investigators can help with trial preparation in the form of locating and interviewing witnesses, conducting public record searches, service of process, paternity testing and other background investigations concerning individuals associated with a case.

Our firm has retained Greg in numerous cases and the results are always amazing. He consistently provides us with reliable information that might otherwise have taken months to uncover – if we were ever able to recover it at all.