Many calls I receive are requests for surveillance on spouses. In most cases, the requesting party has not yet consulted an attorney. They want me to follow their spouse to see if he/she is cheating on them. I generally refer them to an attorney if they are contemplating a divorce, or to a counselor if they want to attempt to work things out. Although I am not an attorney, my experience over the years is that judges don’t take infidelity into account when deciding issues involving division of assets or custody. So spending money to prove such behavior is likely not necessary. However, these issues should be addressed by an attorney with the individual. If the attorney feels surveillance will provide evidence that can be used in court, then I will discuss the possibility of providing a surveillance. Surveillance is generally very costly due to the number of hours involved. If the person under surveillance has no set routine that is known to their spouse, the investigator could spend many hours on the surveillance without obtaining any significant evidence. Since fees for private investigations often run from $60 to $100 an hour, plus mileage and expenses, fees can grow quite large during a long surveillance. Most private investigators require a substantial retainer up front before starting a surveillance. Unless the client is willing to pay for additional investigators to assist on the surveillance, the surveillance will consist of one investigator. Prior to the surveillance, the client will need to determine whether it is more important that the spouse not detect the surveillance, or that the investigator not lose sight of the spouse. A one man mobile surveillance is difficult, and with an alert spouse, the surveillance can result in the investigator either being burned or losing contact with the spouse. Either way, its money spent with no results.