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Family Division: Page 2

Impact on what a was required as evidence for “Adultery”:
Prior to the changes in 1985, Private Investigators were utilized to collect HARD evidence of the adulteress act. That meant catching the two parties in the act and documenting it- usually with photographs. The changes brought about in 1985 negated the kicking down door and taking a quick photo scenario and provided us with two things that were required: Opportunity and Inclination.

Did the two adults have the opportunity to commit adultery? This was generally verified by watching the two parties enter a premises, tag the doors and watch them break the tag when they came out. As a general rule, a one hour time frame with lights out was required to convince a judge that they had opportunity. The additional question to that portion was- Were they the only two adults on location?

The second portion of the formula was “Inclination”. Did they have the inclination to commit adultery. This was generally a given if close physical contact was observed. Close physical contact included but was not limited to: Holding hands, extended embrace or kissing each other.

How Private Investigators are utilized today:

Adultery: Section 8 (2) (i)

A client generally will retain the services of a Private Investigator to verify that Adultery is being committed by their current partner. This is done by conducting surveillance on the subject during times that it is felt they have the opportunity to do the same. ie: After work, sometimes during work breaks or after hours where their whereabouts or activities cannot be explained. The evidence collected from the surveillance must complete two important aspects of the activity – Opportunity and Inclination.

Some clients are not sure if there is a problem and really do not want a divorce. These clients generally just want “PEACE OF MIND” of knowing for sure. If adultery is being committed, it gives them the opportunity to seek out other means to rectify marital problems, usually through more in depth marital communication (counseling or mediation).

Physical and Mental Cruelty”: Section 8 (2) (ii)
Generally a Private Investigator is not involved in such matters.

Why do I need to hire a P.I?

If a member of the general public attempts to conduct the surveillance, they may be, if caught doing so, charged with STALKING.(read section 264- Criminal Code of Canada). A very good article pertaining to this may be viewed at

Private Investigators in British Columbia must be licensed and bonded to provide their services and as such are not in breach of STALKING laws. Under the law, we have “lawful authority”. Some exceptions can apply to this but a good Private Investigator will know what questions to ask their client before taking on the assignment so that the EXCEPTIONS” are not breached if they apply.

For more information pertaining to our Family Matters division, click here.