Hiring a Private Investigator for Adultery
Clients who suspect that their spouse is cheating on them are usually plagued with frustration, uncertainty, and grief. Most of the time, this is because clients do not know what is the best way forward personally and legally. Legally, most clients face uncertainties about where to start and those that come to us and have already hired a Private Investigator to investigate their cheating spouse do not know specifics to tell their PIs to look for to facilitate their investigations. In this regard, investigating spouses can be an overwhelming experience.
Clients ask our divorce lawyers the following questions crucial to saving costs as hiring a PI can be a costly affair: -
- The appropriate time to hire a PI;
- The information required from a PI to gather for matrimonial proceedings;
- The means of gathering information for the proceeding; and
- Advice on what to do with the information gathered for a legal suit.
Personal Investigators are frequently hired to assist a party initiating divorce proceedings in Singapore. PI reports are frequently adduced as evidence in the court for these proceedings.
If you are considering hiring a Private Investigator for your divorce proceedings, it is in your best interest to speak with our Divorce Lawyers to advise you more about how the work of the PI and PI reports can be used in your favour for your matrimonial proceedings.
Below mentioned is a general list of events where a PI can potentially assist you in the case, and general tips for your information: -
Adducing Evidence for Suspected Infidelity
- Adducing evidence of infidelity that a PI has gathered may be useful for proving the grounds of “adultery” and/or “unreasonable behaviour” for a divorce. A lawyer will be able to advise you if the information that the PI has gathered is enough to satisfy the Court that your spouse has committed “adultery”, or satisfactory to prove the ground of “unreasonable behaviour”.
- Generally, the Family Justice Courts in Singapore do not necessarily take into account infidelity in ancillary matters, child issues, and division of assets and maintenance, as courts usually consider the best interests and welfare of the child, which may be independent of the infidelity of a spouse, even if found.
- There may be benefits for a spouse who has proven that adultery has taken place if adultery is indeed proven. A divorce lawyer will be able to advise if a Court may, in its discretion, order a spouse who was found to have committed adultery to pay for half of the cost of the private investigator hired to investigate the adultery if costs were reasonable , and whether or not the Court will order costs for the divorce , whereas in most matrimonial cases, Courts order costs to be borne by parties individually.
Adducing Evidence for Custody, Care and Control of a Child
- Adducing evidence of a parent’s behaviour and disposition (ie. Evidence of illegal or dangerous behaviour such as drug or alcohol abuse, and propensity for violence) which a PI has gathered, may be useful for the Court to determine which party is a better parent, or whether or not a parent is unfit to have custody, care and control over the child. Evidence could directly affect custody arrangements.
- In some circumstances, a PI may be able to testify and write an affidavit in Court, and their testimony can potentially carry greater credibility since they are mostly independent.
Our Divorce Lawyers will be able to advise you on the areas you can engage a PI to adduce evidence in Court, and what evidence produced by the PI is admissible or inadmissible in Court
Looking for the Whereabouts of a Child in Singapore
- PIs may be able to gather evidence of a parent’s whereabouts with a child they may have taken away from home from a parent who also has joint custody, care and control over the child. In acrimonious relationships, it is not uncommon to find a spouse or ex-spouse to leave a home with children.
Our experienced divorce lawyers can advise on how PIs can assist to determine the whereabouts of a child for matrimonial proceedings to return a child, and on further legal recourse such as injunctions to prevent the removal of a child from Singapore.
When a Spouse or Ex-Spouse is Hiding Assets or Income Before Matrimonial Assets are Ordered to be Divided by the Court
- PIs can be hired to uncover hidden assets or to catch a spouse or ex-spouse attempting to hide such assets not disclosed during the discovery process of Court hearings to divide matrimonial assets after a divorce proceeding. The PI’s work in this aspect is crucial for an equitable and fair distribution of assets in Court.
Section 95 of the Women’s Charter (Chapter 353).
Goh Yong Hng v Cheong Yen Teng (Zheng Yanping) (mw) and another  SLR(R) 530.
Tham Khai Meng v Nam Wen Jet Bernadette  1 SLR 336.