Surveillance services are provided by various private investigation and security firms to their clients who aim to get extensive information and reports on various situations to reach unbiased conclusions. People get surveillance in various situations like employee theft, insurance fraud, cohabitation of ex-spouse, infidelity or child support, etc. There are various methods through which people can attain surveillance services to get the required shreds of evidence.
The investigators adopt multiple surveillance methods and equipment based on the case being investigated.
- Electronic Surveillance– Electronic surveillance is mainly based on electronic equipment and tools used during the investigation and can range from cameras and wiretaps to GPS tracking. GPS tracking is valuable equipment as it helps the investigator determine the location of the person being investigated. Employers activate GPS systems in company cars to check up on their employees and their activities.
- Surveillance Through Interviews-The interview method is far less than any other surveillance method but is still very beneficial. For example, to investigate a missing person, the investigator would collect information from friends and family, making his work more accessible. The information is collected from the close family members and the people around to collect enough evidence to proceed.
- Surveillance Through Behavioral Observation-Observation is one of the most common methods used to catch cheating partners. Surveillance through observation might take days or weeks in which the investigator physically observes the person being investigated and reports back with the information gathered. This surveillance includes the observation of the person’s daily routine behavior and the activities he performs during the day and night.
- Technical Surveillance-In technical surveillance, audio and visual equipment are used to gather information and document behaviors and conversations, which can come in handy as proof during the confrontation, mostly in cohabitation cases.
Ways Through Which Surveillance is Carried out
Surveillance can be carried out through various techniques adopted by the investigators, some of which include
Overt vs. Covert Surveillance
Overt and covert surveillance is different from each other in a context that, in overt surveillance, the detector can come open to the public eye while in covert surveillance, the investigator must stay undetected. For instance, if a spouse wants to check up on their partner, they will hire an undercover investigator. On the other hand, security camera installation is considered overt surveillance.
Mechanical vs. Human Surveillance
Mechanical and human surveillance is surveillance services attained by mechanical instruments or humans. For example, an employer can catch his employee stealing via a security camera or through another employee working in his office.
Stationary vs. Mobile Surveillance
Stationary and mobile surveillance is provided based on the case and the requirement of the client. In some cases, the investigators must stay in a specific location to collect the required information and records. In some cases, they must follow the subject to various locations to get enough evidence to reach conclusions.
Providing Cohabitation Through Surveillance
Nowadays, people take cohabitation surveillance more often for financial settlement cases and the maintenance of post-divorce payments. After the divorce between spouses, they sign legal agreements containing specific terms. One of these terms is the maintenance payment that one spouse makes to the other, especially if the person receiving the payment has primary custody of the children.
This agreement also contains certain conditions like the recipient spouse can not live with someone as a cohabiting couple. If an individual feels like his/her spouse is breaching the contract, they take the surveillance.
Cohabitation surveillance is a private investigation conducted to figure out whether your ex is living with a new partner as a couple or not. According to the legal perspective, living together doesn’t mean living in the same space and having a relationship like married people. The investigation firms consider whether they share the same mailing address, finances, take vacations together, and more in your ex’s relationship.
Cohabitation can be proved through surveillance of three to four weeks. The investigators sometimes use stationary surveillance to observe the couple’s exit and entry time, the use of keys opening door and garage, and parking in the driveway or garage. Similarly, the video evidence of public display of love is also documented.
The shreds of evidence are not only collected based on observable facts, but the other thing is kept in mind as well. A relationship is considered cohabitating if both the partners have joint credit cards and bank accounts, joint ownership of a residential property, joint accounts for utility bills, joint household items purchase evidence, shared responsibilities for household management, and essential documents of both parties showing the same addresses.
According to Samuel Party, Ohio divorce attorney, two inexpensive ways can identify that the ex-spouse is in cohabitation. One is public records requests, and the other is a subpoena. The investigator can make a record request from the law enforcement agencies regarding the spouse’s address of the property.
It helps find out the residents of the house and informs about the people who have mentioned it as their permanent address. The second method subpoena is a summons issued to the utility companies providing services to the address, the banks with mortgages on the property, etc. this technique helps find out the people contributing to the bills.
It helps the person in finding out about the situation their ex-spouse is living in. It can be the possibility that you still think your ex is playing straight, but on the contrary, they have found someone in life and live a much better life where you don’t have to support them legally.
During the settlement agreement, there are certain conditions like you are liable to pay for the maintenance until your ex-spouse remarries or starts a cohabit relation, in which case you will no longer be liable to pay for the maintenance. To terminate the agreement, after collecting enough pieces of evidence, you can take the matter to court. Hiring an investigator from surveillance doesn’t always give the person a full guarantee of terminating the contract as the court still makes the last decision.