You Can’t Always Get what You Want

Yes, that’s a line from an old song, but there is a real message. When people come to an investigator, what they want and what they get may not match. And sometimes that is because what they want and what they need are not the same.

For instance, sometimes someone wants evidence that their spouse or lover or… is cheating. Sometimes they do not get what they want simply because there is no evidence to be gotten.  And that may be because the spouse (or whatever) is not cheating. Sometimes they want the name of the person that the affair involves, but that person’s name and address and phone number ect. are not  “fair game”. The “injured spouse (or whatever) has no claim against the “other”.  The only legitimate injury would be by the cheating “spouse”.

Perhaps they want to find a lost relative? That is what they want but is it what they need, is it what they will get? Do they have a right to that person’s information? If the missing person is an adult and not mentally or medically at risk or contractually obligated or under a court order to provide the information then the want may well go un met. Perhaps the “missing” person is a birth parent who gave up a child in an adoption, State law protects that parent from having to be contacted about the birth and adoption. The best that can be hoped for is that if the investigator can indeed find the person, they might write a letter informing them that there is someone who believes they may be related but giving that possible parent they absolute option to not respond, or to respond that they want no contact or that the possible relative is mistaken, etc. In such a case the investigator would not be giving any identification to either party without an express release from each. That same would go for someone who simply went missing. There may have disappeared from a bad situation, perhaps abuse or harassment or just not wanting to be involved any more. Again, the information would not be given. It is possible that the “missing” person may authorize the investigator to tell their “relative” that they are “alive and well” or happy or whatever.

Even if they do get what they want, sometimes that information will not be what they need. For instance, if they are getting a divorce, evidence that the spouse is cheating is really not relevant. Unless it can be shown that the spouse is associating with a criminal or drug abuser when the minor children are in the home, there is not really any “need” there. That is not to say their want is invalid necessarily, perhaps in order to have the church annul the marriage or just to give peace of mind that the divorce is what they need.

It is important to consider the want, the need and the get.

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