The best way to help your investigator on a private/domestic matter – and perhaps save yourself some money.
A lot of investigators don’t provide private or domestic investigation services. By private/domestic matters I’m referring to infidelity or cheating partners, child custody and other Family Law matters, pre-nuptial checks, divorce litigation support or child activity surveillance.
Ever wonder why that is?
These types of private matters are often highly emotional situations for the client. When someone is having a personal crisis and they turn to an investigator to obtain information or “peace of mind”, that investigator is often the only person with whom they feel comfortable sharing this information. There is often an “unburdening of the soul” and a great avalanche of information is provided, particularly at the first meeting.
This is very understandable and I am always fully prepared to have an extended first meeting with a client in such a position. I am usually genuinely sympathetic to their situation and appreciate the emotional turmoil they must be going through. I am fully prepared to listen to all they have to say as this provides two distinct advantages. Firstly, it often is quite therapeutic for the client. Secondly, it provides me with a good understanding of the client’s situation, their motivation for hiring an investigator, and their expected outcomes. It also provides me with some information about how to best obtain the desired information in the most cost effective manner.
However, as the matter progresses, it is often the ongoing and constant emotion-charged information the client continues to discuss with the investigator that causes the most concern. Some clients start to view the investigator as a sounding board for sometimes minor matters and they will often consume a great deal of the investigator’s time talking about events and situations that have no real benefit to the investigation. Often a sympathetic investigator is seen as a “friend” who shares the same interests and concerns as the client. I recently was woken late at night by a call from a client who wanted to tell me that their spouse had only just arrived home from having to “work” late. Obviously, this is very relevant to the client as it provides another ground for suspicion, but it is certainly something that could have waited until a more respectful hour. Yes, an investigator has to often be available for matters outside of general business hours, but these should be reserved for urgent matters.
Most investigators will be sympathetic to their client’s situation – but only up to a point. When a client becomes obsessive in discussing every single event, or constantly asking for life advice, one of two things will occur. The investigator will either cease the relationship, or will charge the client a premium for the extra time involved.
Anyone who engages a private investigator needs to understand the investigator will view their relationship on a business level and nothing more. This is absolutely crucial as the investigator needs to stay focussed on the facts of the matter, maintain an unbiased view and not become embroiled in the emotions of the situation.
The more business-like a client can be in their dealings with an investigator, the better. The investigator can get on with doing his or her job at minimum cost to the client.
Listen to some jazz whilst reading