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Private Investigators and Divorce

In North Carolina, a private investigator (PI) can play a role in divorce cases by conducting various tasks to gather evidence and information related to the proceedings. However, the specifics of a PI’s role might vary depending on the circumstances of each case. Please consult with your attorney if you have questions regarding a PI and whether to retain one for your case.

Here are some ways a private investigator might be of use in a divorce and separation case in North Carolina:


A PI may conduct surveillance to monitor the activities of one of the spouses to gather evidence of infidelity or other behaviors that might be relevant to the divorce case. Often, these may relate to how one party conducts him/herself in front of the children, or to suspicious behavior.

Background Checks

Private investigators can conduct background checks on individuals involved in the divorce case, including potential new partners, witnesses, and others who might have relevant information.

Asset Searches

If there are concerns about hidden assets or financial improprieties, a PI might perform asset searches to uncover any undisclosed financial holdings. Note that this is different than what a forensic accountant may uncover. [LINK TO BLOG ON FORENSIC ACCOUNTING]

Child Custody Investigations

In cases involving child custody disputes, a PI might be hired to assess the living conditions and behaviors of the parents to determine what would be in the best interest of the child. Many times, there are allegations that the children are put in less than ideal conditions. Alcohol use, drug use, or association with questionable individuals can be learned.

Interviews and Statements

PIs may interview witnesses, friends, or acquaintances who have information about the case and can provide statements that might be useful in court.

Document Retrieval

PIs can assist in retrieving important documents, such as financial records, employment records, and communication records that might be relevant to the divorce proceedings.

Social Media Investigations

PIs might monitor and gather information from social media platforms that could provide insight into the behaviors and activities of the parties involved.

Expert Testimony

In some cases, a PI might be called to testify as an expert witness in court, presenting their findings and observations to support their client’s case.


It is important to note that while private investigators can be valuable resources in divorce cases, their activities must comply with North Carolina’s laws and regulations. Laws surrounding surveillance, privacy, and evidence collection can be complex. Therefore, if you’re considering hiring a private investigator for a divorce case in North Carolina, it’s advisable to consult with your attorney and ensure that the investigator you hire is the right fit, and that it would be beneficial to your case.