Married couples usually tough it out through the holidays and get divorced in the Spring. Not so during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shortly after attorneys are retained and spouses are served, most people quickly surmise they are swimming in the quicksand of the family law court system. Many feel violated and abused, like victims of an unfair and uncaring court system.
Incompetent attorneys, outrageous fees, callous and going-through-the-motions judges, knucklehead forensic accounts, amateurish 730 evaluators and incompetent private investigators often seem to dominate the process.
The Netflix’ film Marriage Story is largely a story about what typically happens during divorce: Both sides hire bulldog lawyers. As private investigators, we’ve worked with hundreds of divorce lawyers through the years, and we are happy to help with free recommendations for family law attorneys. Choosing the right one is likely one of the most important decisions you will make in your life.
My PI agency has been performing marital surveillance jobs (and following the subsequent divorce filings) for over 38 years. So I have a unique perspective on divorce statistics, which I share in this post.
I also cover some critical things to do when and if you find yourself in the strange waters of divorce.
It’s hard to choose a family law attorney out of thousands in Orange County. I’m in the unique position of having personally worked with many (if not most) local Orange County lawyers – on both sides. And I’m happy to provide referrals.
So you’re ready to walk down the aisle with the love of your life. But have you done all your homework?
By and large, these divorces are usually a direct result of one or more of three things: infidelity, substance abuse, and/or money problems.
Here I’ll explain two easy things you can do before marriage to save yourself from these problems.
Among the explosion of headlines about the Angelina Jolie / Brad Pitt divorce, some reports are claiming Jolie had hired a private investigator to uncover evidence that her husband was cheating on her with recent co-star Marion Cotillard. The French movie star issued a strong public denial of any affair and took the opportunity to announce that she was pregnant by her long-time partner to boot.
Given the state of personal electronics, one could easily argue that full-scale surveillance is simply not needed. Cell phone records, texts, email, calendars, appointments… cheaters carelessly give up the game easily.
There will always be a need for old-fashioned full-scale stakeouts. In a world where there is no shortage of high-stakes, big-bucks divorce, providing court-admissible proof of infidelity is a job that will never fully become obsolete.
Financial ignorance is when a partner knows nothing about the financial affairs of their own home. During a divorce, it can cost women everything.
Many years ago, a likeable but otherwise unremarkable man showed at my corporate office.
“I’d like you to follow my wife,” he said. “I think she’s cheating on me.”
The surveillance went as expected… but the odd legal battle that followed was very interesting.
Certain things stick with you from a seminary education in the 1960s, and one of them was the idea of ‘No divorce’. As a Catholic, I accepted this edict unquestioningly.
After years of conducting marital surveillances, for a primarily female clientele of 80%, my opinions on divorce began to change. Radically. Over and over I saw women who were staying in terrible relationships. Granted, anyone who is consulting me is already on the marital Titanic.