There’s an old saying that criminal law brings out the best in the worst people; family law brings out the worst in the best people. Attorneys who practice in both areas can probably affirm this to be true. When a family member is facing a lengthy prison sentence, even the most hard-core drug addict or gang member will provide important information, or even come to court to testify willingly (if not always truthfully!) for a fellow family member.
In family law cases, however, even the most upstanding professionals or business owners, mothers or husbands, will find themselves taking actions that, months or years later, will cause them to scratch their heads in wonder.
As legal investigators and attorneys, these situations can sometimes be humorous or even hilarious. However, when they happen, these aberrant actions can be calamitous and potentially disastrous to both the respondent and petitioner. The situations described are real events; the details are changed to protect confidentiality.
- Client proposed planting contraband in the opposing party’s vehicle.
- Investigator followed an exotic luxury car all day and suddenly realized he had the wrong vehicle.
- A spouse suspected her husband had installed covert surveillance equipment in the shared residence. Investigation determined both parties were “hoarders,” and the investigative team nearly broke limbs gaining access to various rooms.
- An angry wife discovered her husband in flagrante delicto with another woman and interrupted the surveillance to confront the two at a hotel.
- Investigators were unable to find parking spaces while following an adulterous couple on a Friday evening on South Beach.
- The subject of a surveillance located a GPS device placed on the vehicle and disabled it.
- The subject of another surveillance located a GPS device placed on the vehicle, removed the device, and placed it on the client’s vehicle.
- The client ordered an investigation of the spouse, then shared the information with a close friend, who was having the suspected affair with the spouse.
Most circumstances involving family law investigations can be thoughtfully managed by the attorney and the legal investigator. Appropriate behavior guidelines, careful communication, and explicit explanation of potential consequences are usually sufficient to circumvent problems.
However, in the highly charged arena of family law, where emotions are running so hot, even the most low-key and laid back client can find himself or herself stretched beyond the breaking point and taking actions that could cost a tremendous amount of money, time, or even his life or freedom. Let the professional counselor and investigator take heed.
If you have a delicate family law situation, and you need the assistance of an experienced investigative team, call the professionals at Complete Legal Investigations, Inc. We can help you manage your client’s emotions and expectations by providing calmly planned strategies to accomplish your mutual objectives.