Hiring Private Investigators In Your Texas Family Law Case

January 6, 2007

Certain Texas divorces or Texas family benefit from the use of a private investigator.  Investigators can be very helpful in obtaining documentation regarding lifestyle, assets, income, roomates, friends, paramour and parent s including their criminal history, work history, demonstrating hidden affluence, locating and interviewing witnessess, and obtaining information regarding abuse or neglect.

The best way to select and hire an investigator is to find someone referred to you by a lawyer.  A next best way would be to simply look in they yellow pages- these investigators typically do more family work.  At a minimum,  the investigator should have a Class A (investigatons only) or a Class C (investigations or security) license from the Texas Department of Public Safety- Private Security Board.   Beyond that, there are several advanced certifications which may distinguish one investigator from another such as the designation of Texas Certified Investigators (TCI) or the national designation of Professional Licensed Investigator (PLI) or Certified Legal Investigator (CLI).

 When hiring a private investigator, costs are always a consideration.  Costs for a private investigator in Texas varies widely across the state.  Rates can range from $35 to $150 per hour.   A recent survey of the Texas Association of Licensed Investigators found that the average hourly rate of approximately $85.00 per hour with mileage rates at $0.40 per mile.  you have the right to a written contract at the time you are contracting the service.   The average for an infidelity surveillance will typically run about $3500 to have a real chance of likely success.

In every Texas family law case, be it divorce or a suit affecting the parent-child relationship, there a issues of both law and fact.  In cases where it is called for and a private investigator is employed, then the facts become clearer.  And everyone wants the the outcome of their case dependent on solid, verifyable facts, as opposed to the vague and uncertain outcome that is dependant on your attorneys’ art of persuasion.  Even the greatest attorney in the world wants facts on their side and hiring a private investigator may be the best way to get those facts brought to light. 


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