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In the past few years, the term financial infidelity has gotten a lot of play in the media. This term refers to any form of dishonesty between partners in financial matters. This could range from lying to a spouse about how much a pair of shoes or golf clubs cost, squirreling cash away in a box for a rainy day or establishing secret bank accounts in another state.

I read about one study that suggested 1 in 20 American couples were engaging in some type of financial infidelity. But in my world of private investigation and divorce, this form of “cheating” is hardly a new or uncommon phenomenon.

Today I’d like to address something that is far more common and dangerous: financial ignorance within a marital relationship – when a partner knows nothing about the finances.

Workers Compensation

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This issue is prevalent in high-income areas like Orange County. (We have our corporate office in the heart of Newport Beach). There are countless women in Southern California and throughout the United States simply living in a bubble.

These women live in beautiful homes and drive expensive cars. They have a wallet full of credit cards, accounts at restaurants and clubs and never see a bill. They sign whatever tax forms or financial papers are put in front of them without reading them. They don’t know how much their husband makes or spends and don’t care because life is great.

Until the wheels come off.

I usually come in right about here, generally after a husband has been caught cheating and the wife has decided to file for divorce.

In marital cases, about 80% of my clients are women. When they sit in front of me at the office, I list some different asset search options that we will likely need to perform on their behalf:

  1. a basic asset search,
  2. bank, savings and checking account searches, and,
  3. stocks, bonds and securities searches.

75% of these clients look at me like I’m from Pluto. They don’t have any idea what these terms mean. Even worse, they have zero knowledge of the financial affairs in their own household.

Meanwhile at home, it’s been no secret to the man that the wheels have started to come off the bus.  By this time, he’s been able to dissipate and/or hide many of the assets – long before any divorce proceedings or financial investigations begin.  Accordingly, it becomes more difficult for us to locate all the assets and get a true financial picture.

If married women knew where their household bank accounts were located and had an accurate financial understanding of their joint affairs, men would definitely not be so far ahead of them in matters of divorce.

My clients come from every income level, and financial ignorance is equally common in what I call “pots and pans” divorces – when there are very few assets to divide and there’s no wealth involved on either side.

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I’ve represented individuals and businesses (international and local) for close to fifty years, and I’ve called on Martin Investigative Services more times than I can count, often on a rush basis, for help throughout the world, on a number of different types of assignments.  I’ve never been disappointed.  I’ve always received swift, cost-effective and USEFUL information, which has wound up “saving the bacon” of our clients and making us shine in their eyes.  I recommend them without any reservation.

Peter M. Callahan

Attorney at Law Callahan Thompson Sherman & Caudill, LLP

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I’ve represented individuals and businesses (international and local) for close to fifty years, and I’ve called on Martin Investigative Services more times than I can count, often on a rush basis, for help throughout the world, on a number of different types of assignments.  I’ve never been disappointed.  I’ve always received swift, cost-effective and USEFUL information, which has wound up “saving the bacon” of our clients and making us shine in their eyes.  I recommend them without any reservation.

Peter M. Callahan

Attorney at Law Callahan Thompson Sherman & Caudill, LLP

Martin Investigative Services is truly one of the best run organizations we have worked with. Fair, efficient and professional. Tom Martin in particular exudes confidence and experience and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. That’s something we can rely on.

Marcia Bankoff

Organizational Resources Specialist, Kreative Webworks, Inc.

Successful people know that to be the best, you model the best. I cannot recommend Martin PI any higher! In a five-minute conversation with experienced people you can save thousands by bypassing sales types. They do this by cutting directly to the heart based on years and years of passionate pursuit of best practices and adding massive value to their clients. They are an invaluable part of my team and Tom is my most valued mentor!

Jason Sisneros

Author of Destiny's Doorstep

Martin Investigative Services has performed background checks, private investigation, surveillance and bug sweeps for our clients.  They have also served difficult process in lawsuits.  They have performed unquestionably and unfailingly to perfection.  We will always call Martin first – and hope he hasn’t been called yet by the other side!

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Hughes and Hughes, LLP

We have used Martin Investigative Services for three decades. Their work is exemplary; reports are perfect and their testimony is very professional, with great judge and jury appeal. We will not use anyone else for our investigations.

Steven Silverstein

Former Orange County Trial Lawyer, Association Trial Lawyer of the Year

It has been my pleasure to work with Martin Investigative Services over the past 30 plus years on many investigations as well as other security related matters.  When I need answers and I need them fast I know that a simple call will get me answers that are succinct, current and coming from a supremely knowledgeable source.

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