Infidelity Cases Methods of Investigating

Investigator Filming Man and Woman Kissing in Infidelity Case

Methods of Investigating Infidelity Cases: An Inside Look

The suspicion that a partner may be unfaithful is a heavy burden to bear, filled with uncertainty, fear, and a myriad of unanswered questions.

In these moments, the need for clarity becomes paramount—not just for peace of mind but for the foundation on which you can build your future decisions. Whether it’s about mending bridges or charting a new course for your life, understanding the truth is the first step in this transformative journey. This is where the role of an experienced professional investigator comes into play, offering a beacon of light amid uncertainty.

This article will illuminate the various paths to finding peace and resolution. Over the past 30 years of investigating infidelity cases, we have seen that each case is unique and offers opportunities and challenges based on the initial information and options available during the investigation.

Methods private investigators use to investigate infidelity include:

  • Surveillance: To monitor a spouse’s interactions with their affair partner.
  • Polygraph/lie detector testing: To reveal a spouse’s deceit when answering questions.
  • Background check searches: To gather more details about the affair partner.
  • Open-source intelligence (OSINT): To find and document photos, check-ins, or other evidence posted online.
  • Digital forensics: To uncover secrets hidden in phones and computers.

You’ll gain an understanding of what each investigative approach entails, its potential impact on your journey, and how it can contribute to the pivotal decisions you may face.

By the end of this article, you’ll be more informed about the investigative process and equipped with the insights needed to have constructive discussions with a professional investigator working in your local area. You can then tailor the investigative approach to your unique circumstances, ensuring your path aligns with your quest for truth and emotional well-being.

Surveillance for Infidelity Investigations 

Private investigator obtaining video footage of a man and a woman involved in an extramarital affair.

Surveillance is our way of keeping an eye on things for you, watching your partner’s every move when you can’t to see who they meet and the nature of their relationship.

In cases of infidelity, professional investigators concentrate on two primary goals. First, they look for clear signs of intimacy between your partner and anyone they encounter. Second, they observe whether your partner and this individual spend time together in private settings, such as a home or hotel.

Private investigators are adept at blending into various environments, from quiet residential areas to bustling restaurants. They use video equipment, including hidden cameras, and meticulously take notes to ensure they thoroughly document all activities, providing you with the entire narrative.

The method of surveillance also allows you to learn more about your spouse’s affair partner. Investigators can provide deeper insights by collecting information such as the type of car they drive, where they live, and whether they have a family. This comprehensive understanding is vital in grasping the full scope of the situation, allowing you to make informed decisions about your next steps.

Although this method is highly effective for these cases, it is essential not to do surveillance without the assistance of a licensed private investigator.

Private investigators are well-versed in privacy laws. Knowing the boundaries of legal evidence collection ensures that privacy rights are upheld, allowing you to use the gathered evidence confidently without concern for legal consequences.  

In 1993, the Government of BC escalated the offense of harassment and stalking from a misdemeanor, akin to trespassing, to a criminal code offense in response to rising violence against women, particularly those leaving a marriage or intimate relationship.

Photo of Government of BC Listing Stalking Criminal Offense

Thus, employing the expertise of a licensed private investigator not only ensures that surveillance is conducted with utmost discretion and efficiency but also guarantees that the evidence collected is admissible and respectful of legal standards.

This professional approach safeguards your interests and provides credible, actionable insights, enabling you to navigate complex personal situations with confidence and legal backing.

Polygraph Examinations: Unveiling the Truth 

A polygraph examination being conducted with a lie detector machine.

Polygraph tests, also known as lie detector tests, are another tool we use to help find out the truth in spousal investigations. These tests measure how your spouse’s body reacts when they answer questions. It’s a way to see if someone might be lying based on changes in their heart rate, blood pressure, and how they breathe.

First, the polygraph specialist converses with your spouse, ensuring they understand the examination and agree to the questions they will be asked. The questions should be clear and directly related to what you want to know about their fidelity.

During the test, your spouse sits in a chair, and the polygraph specialist attaches some sensors to them. These sensors record how their body responds as they answer each question while the specialist watches closely for signs that might suggest they are not truthful.

After the test, the specialist reviews the results and compiles a report illustrating how your spouse reacted to the questions giving you insights into whether they were likely telling the truth or not.

It’s important to remember that polygraph tests aren’t perfect, and the results are not always conclusive. Although they are not typically admissible as evidence in court, lie detector tests can provide valuable information and are often used as a method for investigating adultery. They can be a big part of your decision-making, especially when figuring out what’s happening in your relationship.

A polygraph test can be a helpful tool in understanding the truth behind your concerns.

Background Checks: Piecing Together the Puzzle

A private investigator discussing a background check with a client.

Background checks in infidelity investigations are like putting together a puzzle where each piece gradually reveals the bigger picture. Initially, the private investigator’s inquiry might begin with limited information, such as an affair partner’s vehicle identification number (VIN) captured during surveillance. This initial clue could be the starting point to dig deeper into the life of the individual.

This method isn’t just about collecting random pieces of information; it’s a strategic process to understand the dynamics between your partner and the other person. For instance, discovering that the affair partner lives conveniently close can add context to the situation and uncovering their full name could assist with open-source intelligence to find evidence they have posted online.

This layered approach, combining direct observations with detailed background check searches, ensures that you’re not just reacting to partial truths but are empowered with a fuller understanding of the affair’s dynamics.

Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT): Digital Footprints in the Sand

A female OSINT Investigator working on a case.

Professional investigators use open-source intelligence, or OSINT, to look at the tracks people leave online. This includes social media posts, public records on the internet, and other online clues. These digital footprints can tell us a lot about someone’s behavior and connections.

When investigators do OSINT, they often begin with the information from the client or other parts of the investigation, such as surveillance or background check searches. Then, information discovered through those searches guides subsequent online searches. It’s like following a trail in the sand, each piece of information leading to the next.

This method can be beneficial in infidelity cases. Even if your partner is careful, the person they’re involved with might not be as cautious. They might post photos, check-ins, or other hints online that can give away their activities.

By looking at these online clues, we can find out where they have gone, what they do together, and if they have posted any incriminating photographs. This adds more pieces to the puzzle, helping us give you a fuller picture of what’s happening.

It’s important to note that private investigators must respect privacy laws while doing OSINT, only searching through publicly available information. Private communications in emails or other applications are off-limits. This way, you can be assured that you can use the evidence obtained through this method since it will always be within the legal boundaries.

Digital Forensics: The Silent Witness 

A digital forensics specialist carefully conducting an analysis of a smartphone.

Digital forensics acts as an all-seeing eye, meticulously sifting through the data on electronic gadgets like smartphones and laptops. Experts in this field delve into a world filled with texts, emails, apps, web histories, and even data previously deleted, provided it has yet to be permanently erased or the device reset. This process is detailed and requires a high level of technical skill.

In cases of suspected infidelity, the focus sharpens on uncovering any digital traces of unfaithful behavior, from secretive conversations to undisclosed rendezvous or compromising images.

When the analysis is complete, you receive a comprehensive report, translating the complex findings into a straightforward narrative, giving a voice to the otherwise mute digital evidence and bare the facts hidden within the device.

However, the undertaking of digital forensics hinges on legal permissions, primarily the consent of the device’s owner, setting the stage for the investigation with specialized tools under the guidance of strict legal and privacy standards. This necessity for lawful entry means digital forensics might only be viable for some situations.

Yet, when applicable, digital forensics offers a potent lens to peer into the obscured corners of a device, illuminating truths in an age where our digital footprint is as telling as our physical one.

Piecing Together the Puzzle of Infidelity

We’ve covered the main ways professional investigators help uncover the truth about infidelity, from keeping a close watch with surveillance to digging into digital clues with forensics. Each method, like puzzle pieces, helps you see the bigger picture.

Ultimately, what matters most is that you feel confident about the next steps you take. Private investigators are here to provide the insights and evidence you need, whether peace of mind or the closure to move forward.

The longer you wait, the more complicated the situation might become. Clues can disappear, patterns can change, and the truth might become even more challenging to uncover. By acting now, you can get clear, undisputable evidence to help you make informed decisions.

Our How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Private Investigator For a Cheating Spouse article details typically fees charged by private investigation companies along with the specific fees of our company, while our Complete Guide on How to Catch a Spouse Cheating serves as an overview for these cases, from the signs of an unfaithful partner to watch for to post-investigation considerations.

For a complimentary, obligation-free consultation, please get in touch with us at, or fill out our contact form below with your preferred contact method and a brief overview of what you would like assistance with. We keep all information confidential and only use contact information to respond to inquiries.

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About the Author

Photograph of Janet Helm, the Co-Founder and current Managing Director of Shadow Investigations Ltd.