Certain divorces, child custody, and other family cases can benefit from the use of a private investigator. These trained experts can be very helpful in obtaining documentation about lifestyles, assets, incomes, roommates, friends, paramours, and parents. For instance, investigators can often find out someone’s criminal record, work history, hidden affluence, living arrangements, and travel. They can also locate and interview witnesses and even obtain certain information regarding abuse or neglect.
The best way to select and hire an investigator is to ask a family law attorney. Of course, you can also ask others or search online, but family lawyers know which investigators are the best fit for the unique issues in family court cases. You should insist on an investigator who is licensed by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. Beyond that, there are several advanced certifications which may distinguish one investigator from another, such as the national designation of Professional Licensed Investigator (PLI) or Certified Legal Investigator (CLI).
When hiring a private investigator, costs may also be a consideration. Costs for a private investigator in South Carolina can vary widely, but most typically fall in the $75 to $100 per hour range. You have the right to a written contract at the time you are contracting the service. Surveillance may cost anywhere from a few to several thousand dollars, but the evidence obtained may save you multiples of that in attorney’s fees and costs.
Every family law case, whether divorce, child custody, visitation, etc., involves issues of law and issues of fact. Private investigators can help make the facts become clearer and sometimes irrefutable. Solid, verifiable facts can (and often do) affect the outcome of cases. Experienced family law attorneys will work with you from the very beginning to develop a plan for your case, including the use of private investigators and other experts.
Ben Stevens is a Fellow in the prestigious American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and is a Board-Certified Family Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He has provided exceptional legal counsel and support to families throughout South Carolina for a quarter of a century, with a focus on complex divorce and child custody cases. He and his team are well-equipped to handle all family law matters, no matter your circumstances. Contact our office at (864) 598-9172 or SCFamilyLaw@offitkurman.com to schedule an initial consultation.
Author: J. Benjamin Stevens
Articles have been Reprinted with permission from the charlotte observer and Mike Hunter.
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