How to use an Infidelity-focused PI Investigation; In other words, don’t pay for information you already have.
Regularly, the Paladin Jordan Detective Agency (PJDA, Inc), receives inquiries regarding infidelity investigations. Callers and clients have ranged in age up to 75. Issues related to cheating, infidelity, and trust are always a source of frustration and heartache for clients. Over the years I’ve seen some common threads and elements among these cases.
1.) The Requester has observed behavior they believe is consistent with being unfaithful: increased time away from family, secrecy, coveting cell phone and activity, change in intimacy, lies and denials, etc.
2.) The Requester has caught the suspected cheater in obvious lying and farfetched alibi claims.
3.) The suspected cheater replies to accusations by claiming the Requester is
acting irrational, is totally wrong, is too sensitive, paranoid, jealous, etc.
4.) The suspected cheater has previously been unfaithful, and/or engaged in similar conduct. 5.) The couple’s physical relationship is dramatically different since the suspected behavior was first noticed.
6.) The suspected cheater’s emotional connection to the Requester is often indifferent, passive, inconsistent, un-empathetic, not loving, and robotic.
7.) The Requester believes their instincts are accurate, while their observations are questionable. They seek confirmation and closure.
8.) The Requester wants to learn who the paramour is and confront the person.
9.) The Requester seeks clear evidence of the infidelity; such as photos, text messages, emails, videos, etc., or a confession.
Main Challenges for Client:
Unlike what is depicted in movies and TV shows, capturing clear evidence of infidelity requires time, patience, planning, money, and stealth. Of these elements, the most important are stealth and patience. Stealth is defined as the act or action of proceeding furtively, secretly, or imperceptibly.
Stealth is needed to observe the cheater’s behavior secretly before the cheater changes their routine and/or discards evidence. Unfortunately, for many clients it is challenging to continue to
pretend everything is “okay” while the cheater continues to lie to you, blame you, and think they’re smarter than you.
Patience is important because it is needed by the Client to avoid revealing the investigation to the
cheater while the cheater’s activities, behaviors, and alibis are reviewed and documented.
Once you and your PI’s investigative plan is created and the operation is executed, it won’t be long before you can learn the truth.
Guess what?! Even after you learn the truth, maintaining stealth my be a good idea. Here are two reasons why:
1.) You may learn the suspected cheater is in engaged in activities which were not suspected. Example, you may learn the behavior is gambling, drugs, or criminal activity, or something harmless, embarrassing or altruistic.
Tip: Look at your investigative operation as a CIA agent would. You have uncovered the truth; and proven that YOU are the smartest and most rational and logical person in your relationship.
All I’m saying is consider not revealing your superior intelligence and resourcefulness for the short term benefit of shaking your finger in the cheater’s face and saying, “I told you so!”
The reason is because you might want to employ these skills and resources again—soon.
The best way to use your investigation dollars in an infidelity investigation is to search for information that you DON'T already have and DO need. In other words, if your marriage or relationship is at risk due to infidelity, your relationship may be over.
Consequently, it’s time to focus on you and your family’s future; especially your financial future. To protect your future financial security, you need to uncover all the assets previously unknown by you or unreported by your partner.
At some point (very soon) you will want to locate and examine all the assets you and your partner accumulated together during your relationship. If you haven’t considered this before, now is the time. Seriously. You are entitled to a fair and equitable share of your combined assets.
1.) Using Stealth:
a.) Start collecting copies of your partner’s financial account statements, account
numbers, credit card statements, gas cards, Tollway records, debit cards, etc. This includes membership cards, healthclub accounts, even the Boy Scouts. No information is considered irrelevant until you have reviewed it.
b.) Obtain multiple months of account records. You may need to calculate and determine monthly and yearly deposits and withdrawals.
c.) Be aware that some people create “Rathole” cash accounts that are used to hide money. These funds may be temporarily and discreetly passed on to others (family, friends and paramours, etc) to hold.
d.) Collect SSNs and other identifiers of close friends and family members. You can
search for bank accounts and balances in another’s name if you have their identifiers.
e.) If you learn there is a previously unknown bank account in an obscure location which
may be linked to your partner, your attorney may be able to convince the judge to issue
a subpoena for copies of the monthly statements. After reviewing the statements you
may learn where, the exact amounts, and to whom those funds were transferred.
f.) Collect copies of deeds, bills of sale, etc for real property, assets, and vehicle
titles. The dates, amounts, and witness names and contact details contained within
these records are important to refute a claim or assertion by your partner.
g.) Document all user names and passwords for all online accounts, social media
accounts, employer online portals, etc.
h.) Document the first and last names of your partner’s friends, busniess partners, coworkers, supervisors, direct reports, etc. This will be important if you need to verify or search for salary history, pension details, bonuses, etc. Make sure to obtain your partner’s work ID number and work email addresses, too.
i.) Store your collected, sensitive documents in a bank safety deposit box. Don’t assume your information is safe in your work desk or locker, your vehicle, a shoe box under your bed, or trunk of your car. Don’t rely on your mom or sister’s house either. Safety deposit boxes are designed to protect your valuables and your privacy.
***If your information is lost, or found by a nosey partner, you won’t get another opportunity to use it tactically for your financial future.***
j.) Consult with an attorney before you need one. Always be methodical in your planning, preparation, and execution. Learn from the attorney what your rights are and what you’re entitled to in a divorce.
k.) Here are three things I’ve learned about attorneys. They are all expensive, there is a big difference in the quality of their representation, and some lack good communication skills.
l.) Before hiring an attorney, speak discreetly with many folks who have hired an attorney. I’m sure you have friends, relatives, and colleagues you trust who will be happy to share with you their feelings about their attorney experience.
The most common complaint I hear from my clients who complain about their attorneys are their fees and their poor communication skills.
For example, I have a client who hired an attorney for a divorce and to learn where her husband was hiding his real estate sale proceeds. Now, 12 months later, after paying the attorney $14,000, she’s still not divorced, and is contemplating staying in the marriage because she’s depleted her “household money” paying the attorney. Now she’s frustrated because she can’t afford to continue fighting her husband in court while paying her attorney $300/hr.
Common Mistakes to Avoid:
1.) Don’t rush your investigation and don’t allow any PI to rush you into an service agreement or contract. Investigations have a greater chance for success when the client and investigator take enough time to review the case elements, the targets, and objectives.
2.) Don’t assume your investigation will proceed like investigations depicted on “reality TV” and in movies. Few real cases occur with a PI bursting into a motel room and snapping pictures or video of paramours naked in bed. More often incriminating evidence is that which catches the target in a lie or disputes an alibi statement; and leads to an admission by the cheater.
3.) Be careful who you share your infidelity suspicions with. Sometimes it’s hard to know who to trust with sensitive information. The more people you share your suspicions with, the greater the chance the information will get back to the suspected cheater.
4.) Approach your search for the truth as a CIA Agent not a Paparazzi looking for quick win
and instant gratification.
Contact Private Detective Paladin “Pj” Jordan PCI, CPP with your questions and comments. 312.600.0311 and en Espanol: 224.228.2338.