Whether a person is bringing a new tenant into an apartment or embarking on a business venture with an unknown entity, a private investigator can verify the information to help make the most informed decision.

Licensed private investigators use tenacity, determination, and professional experience to uncover secrets that can have serious consequences. Read on to learn how these professionals can assist in personal matters.

Background Checks

Often, private investigators work on employment background checks. Many companies need a background check of employees before hiring them for jobs in which they will be responsible for the company’s assets or safety. An airport shuttle service, for example, needs to know that its drivers are safe behind the wheel. Insurance firms also hire private investigators to discover whether people making insurance claims are telling the truth.

A PI can also help with personal matters by conducting background checks on family members, friends, or acquaintances. For example, a person who has been through two divorces and a handful of bad relationships would be wise to use a PI to see what information might show up in the other party’s divorce or child custody case before she lets her guard down again.

Child Custody Investigations

If you’re involved in a custody battle, hard evidence can help the court make the right decision for your child. Whether you believe your spouse is not caring for your child properly, allowing dangerous associates around the child, or has violated the custody agreement, a PI can gather public and private information to prove these allegations in court.

Typically, a private investigator will use surveillance, interview witnesses, and conduct background searches on custodial parties in a custody case. This can include assessing their lifestyle, living conditions, and ability to care for the child financially and emotionally.

After completing a child custody investigation, a PI will submit a report to the court that incorporates all the relevant information and gives detailed reasoning for each finding. Since these investigations involve children, live testimony is usually closed to everyone but the investigator and both parties’ lawyers. PIs have the diverse experience and autonomy to complete this type of investigation quickly and thoroughly.

Asset Searches

A private investigator can conduct searches for physical assets such as real estate, cars, and jewelry, but they also can dig deeper into intangible assets like patents, leases, and trademarks. Attorneys, businesses, investment companies, corruption investigators, and individual investors all rely on asset searches as part of due diligence.

One common reason for an attorney to conduct an asset search is in support of divorce proceedings, where a spouse might try to hide assets to lower their net worth for purposes of alimony or child custody. Debt collection agencies and other creditors likewise use them to determine whether it’s worth going after someone for money they say they can’t pay.

A PI’s training allows them to navigate state, county, and local records for leads that might reveal a subject’s wealth. Though a private investigator can’t get access to a person’s private bank account, they can find out if that person holds an ownership interest in LLCs or other business entities, or has a home equity line of credit. They can also uncover liens and judgments at the federal, state, and local levels.


Private investigation services are frequently used for personal matters such as determining the truth of infidelity cases. In these situations, a PI is able to follow a suspect and collect evidence that can be used in court. Investigators can also help individuals find hidden assets.

In many states, it is legal for private investigators to record conversations if one party involved in the conversation knows that the information is being recorded and agrees to the recording. However, it is important to note that some states require what is called two-party consent to legally snoop on private conversations.

Additionally, private investigators can assist business owners to verify information about employees, such as whether they are engaging in theft, fraud, or violating non-disclosure agreements. These services are helpful to employers who need to keep their business operations safe from disgruntled employees. They can also be useful in investigating workers’ compensation claims to determine the true nature of alleged injuries.