“People say believe half of what you see. Son, and none of what you hear. I can’t help being confused. If it’s true, please tell me dear.”
Okay, so maybe it was actually Marvin Gaye who vocalized that famous line in his song “I heard it through the grapevine”, but it still holds true. People are not always…. uh, forth coming about past marriages and especially the divorce(s). If you have assets or children to protect, a little caution can go a long way towards protecting both your finances and your heart.
So, if you can’t believe half of what you see and none of what you hear, how do you know what the “truth” is?
A phone call to your local clerk’s office (which court houses divorce information differs by state) in the county where your love lives or was divorced in, can reveal if your significant other has filed for divorce, is actually divorced and more. The records also contain number of prior marriages, indicate who filed for divorce, the property division and more. They are public records and the clerk’s office, depending on the size of the file, may be able to email or snail mail the document to you.
If the divorce was amicable or if the parties were committed to keeping their privacy, then the filings (the documents describing the position and responses of the parties in the case) will likely be short, concise, and “clean”.
If the divorce was not amicable, then the filings will likely be extensive and contain a lot of “dirt” on the marriage, the parties, and contested issues. Details regarding abuse, instability, drug use, affairs, poor parenting, financial issues, bank records, and so forth will be laid out in (embarrassing) detail. Reviewing the full case file, including subsequent lawsuits between the parties, will give you a good idea of who your significant other is under pressure and an idea of their character as well.
What you do with this information?
It is up to you. What is seen cannot be unseen. Either way, you will be able to make informed decisions regarding your relationship and won’t be hearing the news through the grapevine.