How to Hire a Private Investigator to Confirm Infidelity

Two Methods:Deciding to Hire a Private InvestigatorChoosing a Private Investigator

If you suspect that your partner is cheating, you want to confirm your suspicions as soon as possible. Statistics show that wives who suspect their partners of cheating are correct 85% of the time, while husbands who suspect their partners of cheating are correct 50% of the time.[1] You may try to uncover the truth yourself, but oftentimes this is ineffective or could cause your partner to become even more secretive. The most effective way to monitor your partner’s actions is to hire a private investigator. Private investigators are professionals that are trained in gathering information and surveillance, and they are the best way to confirm infidelity.

Method 1
Deciding to Hire a Private Investigator

  1. Image titled Hire a Private Investigator to Confirm Infidelity Step 1
    Do not confront your partner until you have proof. While you should talk to your partner about concerns regarding other problems, with infidelity it is best to wait until you have proof. Proof in this case means hard evidence (e.g., pictures, catching them in person, etc.) that your partner has been unfaithful. If you confront your partner too soon or without evidence, they will just deny everything. They will also become more secretive and careful with their actions, making it even harder to obtain proof of their infidelity.[2]
  2. Image titled Hire a Private Investigator to Confirm Infidelity Step 2
    Look for signs of cheating. Before deciding to hire a private investigator it can be helpful to start gathering some information about your suspicions. Be very careful as you do this, as you do not want to be caught during this initial step. Also keep in mind that signs of cheating are not the same as proof of cheating. The most common signs of infidelity include:[3]
    • Notable increase or decrease in intimacy, affection levels, or sexual interest.
    • Suspicious phone habits like hiding their screen when it rings or being secretive about their text messages.
    • A marked change in appearance and hygiene, such as showering right when they get home from work, dressing up to do mundane things like grocery shopping, or wearing a new perfume or cologne.
    • Being overly secretive about their browser history and an increase in the amount of time they spend online, especially at night.
    • Changes in work routine, like needing to work late often or having to go out of town for work.
  3. Image titled Hire a Private Investigator to Confirm Infidelity Step 3
    Keep a journal of your partner’s whereabouts. In order to track your partner’s changing behaviors, it is crucial that you start writing down important information. A cheating partner will often change their story or question your memory, and this journal will help you bring to light these inconsistencies. Some things to track in the journal include:[4]
    • Dates and times of outings/events
    • The other people attending the outing/event
    • Reasons why you are not invited
    • Excuses given for why your partner is late
  4. Image titled Hire a Private Investigator to Confirm Infidelity Step 4
    Gather hard evidence. Without being too obvious or invasive, further your preliminary investigation by monitoring your partner’s habits and spending. In addition to keeping a journal about what they say, try to find some hard evidence about what they are doing. Watching your partner slyly can help build a case against them, which you can then use to find the right private investigator. Without being too obvious, try to track some of the following:[5]
    • Monitor your partner’s mileage, receipts, credit card statements, ATM withdrawals, phone records, etc. to give you an idea of where they are going and if they are spending more money than usual.
    • If you share a cell phone account, contact the phone company for the text message log, which includes all text messages sent or received that weren’t deleted.
    • Try searching for other social media accounts to see if your partner has a secret profile under a different name.
  5. Image titled Hire a Private Investigator to Confirm Infidelity Step 5
    Discuss the matter with your personal attorney. If you are serious about hiring a private investigator, it is important that you speak with legal counsel about it beforehand. Marital disputes are fraught with legal issues, and having advice from a lawyer can help limit your exposure. Many attorneys also work with private investigators and may be able to recommend a PI that they have worked with or have heard is reputable.[6]

Method 2
Choosing a Private Investigator

  1. Image titled Hire a Private Investigator to Confirm Infidelity Step 6
    Research licensed private investigators in your area. As you begin choosing a PI to help confirm your partner’s infidelity, it is extremely important that this person is a licensed, experienced PI. Most states have strict requirements to obtain an investigative license, including specific training classes, passing grades on assessment examinations, and a particular number of supervised field hours. However, the following states do not have statewide licensing requirements:[7]
    • Alabama
    • Alaska
    • Colorado (voluntary licensing available)
    • Idaho
    • Mississippi
    • South Dakota
  2. Image titled Hire a Private Investigator to Confirm Infidelity Step 7
    Choose a PI with experience in spousal infidelity investigations. Many private investigators have a specialty within the investigative industry. Rather than hiring any licensed PI, try to locate one that has a great deal of experience with marital investigations. These PIs will be more experienced with the nuances of investigating a suspected cheater, as opposed to a PI that typically investigates corporations or insurance fraud.[8]
  3. Image titled Hire a Private Investigator to Confirm Infidelity Step 8
    Ask each potential PI what their services include. If you want to be sure that the investigation is thorough, be sure to discuss specifics with each PI you are considering. For the most part, licensed PIs will conduct their investigations per the standard methods they are trained on; however, it is important to be sure that your PI actually utilizes all the methods available to them. While a PI is unable to pose as law enforcement officers, tap wires, or obtain cell phone records via pretexting, they should include the following in their investigation:[9]
    • Physical surveillance
    • Hidden cameras
    • GPS tracking
    • Internet monitoring
    • Social network investigation
    • Decoys to tempt your cheating spouse
  4. Image titled Hire a Private Investigator to Confirm Infidelity Step 9
    Shop around for the most reasonable price. Another factor to consider when choosing a private investigator is the cost of such an extensive professional investigation. The cost of a PI can vary widely based on the experience of the PI, the location(s) of the investigation, the prospective length of the investigation, and the difficulty of the investigation (like if the partner is a high-profile person). However, some general information regarding PI costs:[10]
    • Hourly fees throughout the country range from approximately $40 - $100 per hour, with an average hourly rate of about $50 - $55 per hour.
    • Many PIs require a retainer or deposit to be applied against fees for services rendered and expenses, with deposits up to $5,000 for infidelity cases. Factors determining this amount include travel involved, airline/hotel costs, estimated number of surveillance hours, and the urgency of the case.
    • Keep in mind common additional costs, such as a mileage expenses for any driving and fees for adding additional PIs to the case.
  5. Image titled Hire a Private Investigator to Confirm Infidelity Step 10
    Commit fully to the investigation. Once you have chosen a PI, the most important thing you can do is commit to the investigation. It is important that you give the PI all of the information you have on your partner from your own monitoring. It is also crucial that you answer any and all questions honestly and to the best of your knowledge. Holding anything back from the PI, even things that incriminate you and your own fidelity, will only hinder the PI and disrupt the investigation. You need to be willing to speak openly with the PI about your situation, and you must be willing to find out the truth!


  • Avoid telling people that you’ve hired a private investigator. You don’t know who is complicit in the infidelity, and telling people could derail the investigation.
  • Only hire a private investigator if you are truly ready to know the truth. Confirming a partner’s infidelity will have major repercussions on your life and the lives of anyone involved, like your children.


  • Do not try to be a rogue private investigator. This could endanger your life or count against you if you pursue a divorce. For instance there are strict laws on surveillance, so if you live in a state where notification or consent is needed for a recording device and you did not get this consent, any evidence found using this device will be inadmissible in court.[11]

Article Info

Categories: Cheating in Relationships