Nashville private investigator Thomas H. Humprheys on divorce fairs and why they may be a great idea:
Start Over Smart, a Modern Divorce Expo. Hosted at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, NY, NY this weekend. Oh how I wish I had known about this sooner.
Divorce (de vors) n. 1. the legal disolution of a marriage 2. complete or radical severance of closley connected things.
The chances of a marriage surviving today are roughly equivelent to the flip of a coin. The number of marriages that end in divorce...45% to 50% for first marriages. ...60% to 67% for second marriages. ...70% to 73% for third marriages. The statistics are not necessarily encouraging.
Approximately 10% of the U.S. population has been through a divorce. I'm going to venture a guess that you have either been divorced, are directly related to someone who is divorced, or are close friends with someone who has traveled the long lonely road to splitsville.
The average duration of a divorce proceeding? About a year. And it's often a dificult, painful, embarassing, and ego-crushing experience, but somehow percieved as better than staying in a broken relationship.
Many professional investigators shun domestic work—too tawdry, too messy, beneath them. Here at [FIND] Investigations, we don't mind matrimonial investigations. Domestic investigations, even though they are sometimes tawdry and messy, offer our investigators an opportunity to ply their skills in a nuanced fashion.
Our team has attended conventions undercover as builders and real estate agents. We've donned western wear and two-stepped in honky-tonks. We've trolled the streets of the French Quarter, looking for illicit behavior.
The work is, if nothing else, entertaining. It's also, quite often, gratifying.
Husband's being a sanctimonious jerk, lawyered up and ready to fight wife to the bitter end. He has a few words to say about her lifestyle, her friendships, her enjoyment of the bottle, and he wants to win and take all. Wife contends husband is no saint, hires us to document husband's drug use. We obtain high-definition video of husband smoking it up - deadhead style - in the car with a very young lady formerly wearing a mumu and currently wearing only dreads. In mediation, upon being presented with his porn debut, husband's tone suddenly morphs from arrogant jackass to conciliatory.
Wife brings home the bacon, plays the "I'm just a poor little soon-to-be single mother" card to great impact in meetings. Husband hires us to document wife's affair. We doll up in western shirts and shit-kicker boots and go two-stepping in a local honky-tonk. Wife dances "girls-gone-wild-style" on a table with her boyfriend. They make out in the relative privacy of a dive bar full of strangers, stroll back to their hotel hand-in-hand, and end up in sharing a hotel room at the Hyatt. In mediation wife's tone switches from "poor little me" to outraged power-player in less than a second.
We don't judge—we just collect information—facts and documentation that often comes in mighty handy at the mediation table. Truth empowers.
Divorce is never an easy thing. Emotions, egos, and hearts all live somewhere out near the edge of a sleeve, exposed and itchy.
The good thing is that you don't have to walk the road alone. Friends can prop you up. Lawyers (yes I know - but they do serve a purpose) can help you navigate the system. PIs (again, yes I know - but they serve a purpose too) can help you sort out the facts from the hot rhetoric, and gain clarity and understanding. However, it's often hard to know which of these disparate services you really need, as the slow, painful realizations start rolling in. Sometimes you don't know what, or who, you need until it's too late. That's where the most interesting event I've seen in years, the Divorce Expo, might just come in handy.
What a fantastic idea: a two-day gathering of experts, support services, and fellow travelers. I read about the Paris Divorce Expo a couple of years ago, and decided to skip the event due to - well - it was in Paris. I just heard about the NY Divorce Expo this morning. Had I known about it sooner, I'd be in NY this weekend.
Maybe soon, we can put together a Divorce Expo right here in Nashville. It would be, if nothing else, entertaining. And most likely quite informative.