A wife who suspects her husband is hiding something is usually right. A husband who thinks his wife is seeing someone else behind his back is usually right. Not always, but most spouses who have been married a long time and familiar with the others’ usual and customary habits, recognize strange behavior when the others’ habits are interrupted or replaced with secretive, unusual conduct that is inconsistent with normal behavior. Often it’s just a gut feeling; frequently, however, it’s evident by receipts, notes or private texts. But how do you break through to that confidentially held evidence?
The suspecting spouse could hire a private investigator. Oh my, the reports that lawyers get from “Private Eyes” are often very telling! Sometimes they’re not.
The lawyer could serve formal discovery on the suspected spouse, expecting that in thirty days the corruption will readily surface for all to clearly see. But this doesn’t always yield what we want it to, either.
Or the suspecting spouse could just outright ask the other one to “fess up.” But that’s also not usually all that revealing.
This kind of scenario reminds me of one I witnessed the other day when I had my car serviced. While I was in the waiting area, the service writer approached another fellow “waiter” and said, “We couldn’t get your car to make the noise you described earlier, so there wasn’t anything we could really do. But if it keeps doing it, let us know.” I know I’ve had that same feeling of exasperation before, when I would hear a noise or feel a vibration in my car that could not be replicated by the mechanic. Even on the next visit, after hearing it repeatedly and incessantly after the first unsuccessful trip to the shop, it was still undetectable. Arrrggggghh–how frustrating!
I’ve had similar situations with clients who come in and tell me that they’ve been to attorneys who listened to their stories of suspicion and tried to find the “smoking gun,” but nothing turned up. One extra method quality family law firms will include in their services is the incorporation of a Certified Fraud Examiner. In our boutique firm we have the special advantage of incorporating the services of a Certified Divorce Financial Planner (“CDFP”) who is also a Certified Fraud Examiner (“CFE”) to help trace accounts and piece together incomplete marital estates. Often our reliable CDFP/CFE, although a financial expert and not a lawyer, can point us in the right direction that the other spouse thought would never get uncovered.
We don’t like to give up in our firm when a client presents with a tough scenario that has been elusive to previous attorneys. We look to achieve success, particularly when the client is believable and the possibility exists. That’s why our team approach digs to reveal the flaw in the other spouse’s presentation. When the “Ah-Ha!” moment finally surfaces, that’s when the other side knows the jig is up. If they don’t, the Judge will soon enough tell the bad actor what’s up!
So, it is important when looking for the “right lawyer” to query about the firm’s methods to bust the other side’s secret shell. Make sure you’re setting yourself up for success!