Using a Private Investigator to Catch a Cheating Spouse

Is your spouse catfishing? For someone who works such long hours, your husband sure has a pricey personal smartphone bill. What’s he using all those gigabytes for anyway? TLC 90 Day Fiancé viewers get it. 

Catch Your Spouse Cheating on You

Your husband is fabricating an online identity to seduce other women. Taking cheeky photos to post on Tinder. Why you hardly recognize him yourself. “Bobby” says the romance has gone out of his relationship. What a minute! That’s you. Bobby (Mario to you) is ready to move on and make a new life with another woman. So embarrassing. What if the neighbours find out? Guess you’ll have to troll around yourself to get the legal evidence you need to prove infidelity.

Getting a Divorce for Adultery in Ontario Divorce Court

Luckily, adultery is legal grounds for divorce in Ontario. Filing for divorce is clear cut — you’re having a marital breakdown. Your love contract is broken. But is it adultery? Although you could try a divorce application for mental cruelty, your suspicions alone are not enough to prove adultery. The federal Divorce Act requires proof of a real, physical sexual relationship to get a for fault divorce. 

Proving a Claim of Marital Infidelity

If this was a TV movie, you’d have photos, videotape and physical evidence. Ontario family court is less demanding. A preponderance of credible evidence — in other words, convincing evidence adultery is more likely than not occurring — is good enough. Since Mario-Bobby is just catfishing, the other party may be as shocked as you are and happy to co-operate. But if phone sex or sexual activity conducted at a distance is all he’s up to, you may not have enough evidence to prove adultery. Sending Tinder friends racy messages won’t do it.

How Long Has This Been Going On?

A romantic affair doesn’t have to be forever. As long as it occurred before you petition for divorce, even a single act of marital infidelity will do. While there is no need for Mario’s extramarital love interest to be named in your divorce application, an admission by her or Mario bolsters your case. Time to hire a private investigator to prove he actually committed adultery.    

Hire a Licensed Private Investigator in Ontario

You can find Ontario private investigators online or ask an Axess Law family lawyer for a referral. Legit investigators are trained, licensed under the Ontario Private Security and Investigative Services Act and have a clean criminal record. Using a detective agency ensures your investigator is insured and bonded. It will cost you though. Average rates start at $75 to $150 an hour, plus an upfront retainer of $1,000 to $5,000 and expenses.

What Ontario Private Investigators Can Legally Do

Get the facts before you confront your spouse in court. Private investigators are skilled at finding incriminating evidence for divorce court. They can get Mario’s GPS coordinates, follow him after work, record how often he visits suspicious addresses or catch him dirty dancing in public places. 

Codes of Conduct for Private Investigators

What a private investigator can’t do is use excessive force, act unlawfully or dishonestly, damage property, breach your privacy or confidentiality or be uncivil. In other words, your investigator can’t bully or frighten Mario and his “Madame Bovary” into confessing or tell her husband. 

Will Your Infidelity Come Back to Haunt You?

By the time you hire a private investigator, something has gone seriously wrong in your relationship. Could it be two sided? Don’t let marital indiscretions hold you back from divorcing your spouse. A divorce petition can be brought by any marital partner. It could get gritty in court, but you knew that.

Deciding if Adultery is Worth Pursuing in Family Court

Family court cases are lengthy, stressful and expensive. Unless your partner chooses not to contest it, for fault divorces can take at least a year and sometimes more. Friends, family or judges are hopeful couples will reconcile and may suggest family mediation. Do you really want to air your dirty laundry in public court? 

Separation Agreements for No Fault Divorce Applications 

Adultery won’t affect child custody, access or spousal support applications or how much you get financially in a divorce. Why not separate instead? Axess Law’s Ontario family lawyers can write a separation agreement for you. That gives you both time to decide if you want to work things out. If you do decide to split forever, you can get a no fault divorce in Ontario just by living separate and apart for a year. An enduring separation proves it’s truly over for you and Mario-Bobby. Once you get that divorce order, it’s final.

Trusted Legal Services Across Ontario

For legal advice on separation agreements or divorcing your spouse, call Axess Law toll free at 1-877-552-9377 or 647-479-0118 in Toronto or use our online booking form. Family lawyers are available across Ontario via video call, 7 days a week, at times convenient for you. In person appointments can be made in Toronto, Scarborough, Mississauga, North York, Vaughan, Etobicoke or Ottawa.
Click here to learn more about Axess Law’s family law services.