Courts decide whether the use of investigative services was necessary and within proportion.This is the basis for the decision on reimbursement for the expenses incurred for the investigation.
If certain findings (here: cohabitation of the separated wife claiming maintenance payments with a new partner) cannot be identified merely through the meticulous use of other evidence (here: the possible naming of witnesses) the costs of detective work are reimbursable if they are directly related to the trial and are deemed absolutely necessary.
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Detective costs are not reimbursable if the engagement of a detective agency and their investigations were unlikely from the start to have any influence on the outcome of the lawsuit (here: sustained due to insufficient investigative results by the detective and a maintenance payment settlement for the husband)
KG Berlin Senat für Familiensachen
In a lawsuit concerning maintenance payments the costs for detective work to detect otherwise non-ascertainable grave misconduct are reimbursable.
OLG Stuttgart, 8 WF 96/88