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How to tell if Your Date is Lying, Married or Otherwise Undesirable, Part 2
Home and Family Author: Cathy Taylor
How to tell if Your Date is Lying, Married or Otherwise Undesirable, Part 2
In How to Tell if Your Date is Lying Part 1, we talked about how certain behaviors can tip you off to someone who is lying. We also discussed where you can run a national criminal records check including a search of registered sex offenders. If you haven't read Part 1, click here.

Now let's move on to other truths you may want to know about your date.

How to Locate Vital Records Including Marriage, Birth and Death Certificates

State level – typically these records are located in the Vital Records section of the Departments of Health in various states, or at the county or parish where the actual event took place.

The challenge of this level of search is to try to figure out where the person was married, but a good rule of thumb is to start in the county in which they live. There is a 90% chance that both men and women who stray on their spouses, don't go far away from home to do it.

At the state level, you will get any marriage records that have occurred throughout the state that are reportable as a public record (versus a confidential marriage as described below). Keep in mind that if you request any of this kind of record directly from a state vital records department, you will have to wait an average of two weeks to six months for the report.

 County or parish record level searches are much faster, and you will usually have copies of the records in your hands within 2 to 3 weeks. If you want to speed up that process by about 95%, you can use a public record research firm

What Kind of Records are Available?

There are two kinds of Marriage Licenses:

1. Public Marriage Records are available to anyone searching the index to determine if a person is married, and are available at both the State and local County or Parish levels.

2. Confidential Marriage Records are just that – confidential. That means they are only available to the people named on the license, in other words, just the man and wife can get a copy of these records.

Unfortunately these are not available to the public, but many times a public records researcher will discover that the searched name appears in the index, so even when the confidential marriage record is not available, the fact that the name is in the index lets you know that your subject is in fact married.

To order copies of a marriage certificate located at either the Clerk' or Recorder's office, you'll need the full name as well as the Jurisdiction where you believe the license might be located.

Typically the cost is minimal when you order direct this way - normally from between $20 to $25, with copy costs ranging from $.050 to $10 per certified copy. Keep in mind that certified copies are especially helpful if you want to prove that the marriage is real when confronting your liar.

You can also hire a member of the National Public Records Research Association, and/or Public Record Retriever Network, which are firms that specialize in the searching of public records and have met the stringent ethical qualifications of these two professional organizations.

Divorce Records

Divorce Records are certified copies of the actual divorce decree and are only available from the Family Court in the county or parish where the divorce action was filed.

In California, you can go to the state but the records are incomplete, and the best search of these records is at the local jurisdiction where the dissolution occurred.

A Certificate of Record from the State includes the names of the parties to the divorce, the county where the divorce was filed, and the court case number. A Certificate of Record is not a certified copy of the divorce decree, and does not indicate whether the divorce was ever finalized in court. Processing times can easily exceed 6 months.

It's also possible to order these records directly from the county or parish Family Law Court and/or preferably through a research firm and although it can cost a few extra bucks, the turnaround time is dramatically reduced.

Divorce records can reveal whether or not there was a restraining order or other things you may need to know about.

Other Background Information including Financial

Research firms can also find additional information for you including real estate owned, tax liens, judgments and other civil lawsuits, bankruptcies, as well as local criminal records all of which go to the character of your potential date. You'll need a public records research firm for this kind of detail.

Just remember, whether you meet you're your dream girl or guy through an online dating website, at the singles bar, the health club, the grocery store, your church, the PTA meeting or even an AA meeting … it's always safer to know the truth upfront.
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