Blog Archives

ICORP Investigations Now Licensed In 11 States

ICORP Investigations continue to grow throughout the United States. ICORP Investigations specialize in surveillance. Investigations include workers compensation investigations, high liability claims investigations, cheating spouse investigations and disability investigations. For more information please visit our website. 

Here are the list of states ICORP Investigations private investigators are now licensed in.

State                                     License #

New York                             11000133551

New Jersey                           8387

Connecticut                          A-2566

Pennsylvania                       MD-0012931-2010

Maryland                             106-4347

Georgia                                PDC002573

Florida                                 A 1200112

Texas                                   A18292

Arizona                               1631656

Nevada                                1762A

Colorado                             20121099045

Ask an Expert: All About Private Investigation

I just want to thank Lifehacker for inviting me to their Ask an Expert Q & A regarding private investigators. I also want to thank the people who participated in the chat session. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

To read the transcript of the chat session, please head to Lifehacker

 
Regards,

Steven Santarpia

Private Investigator Steven Santarpia On Lifehacker’s-Spy Week 11/12/12

Every Monday, Lifehacker brings in an expert for an hour to answer questions via chat. Next Monday, November 12, 2012 at 3pm, Lifehacker will be kicking off “Spy Week,” dedicated to all things James Bond and mystery.  ICORP Investigations Vice President, Steven Santarpia, will be joining Lifehacker to answer your questions pertaining to private investigations. Licensed Private Investigator Steven Santarpia has been a private detective for over 10 years and has worked many different types of investigations including infidelity/cheating spouse,  industrial espionage, skip tracing and insurance claims.

More information to come including the link to join the chat session on Monday. To view past chats, visit Lifehacker.com.

For more information regarding ICORP Investigations, please visit their website.

ICORP Investigations
245 Park Ave, 24th Floor
New York, NY 10167
(212) 572-4823

Do You Want to Stay in Love? Then Examine Your Default Position When You Fight

Conflicts should lead to successful resolutions.
Published on August 26, 2012 by Randi Gunther, Ph.D. in Rediscovering Love

Every couple argues, and every argument affects their intimacy as well as the emotional distance between them. Some disagreements leave only minimal or temporary scars that fade with time. The couple’s love continues to deepen, seemingly undamaged. Unfortunately, escalating or stinging arguments can leave deep and lasting fissures that damage relationships.

Many areas of conflict can determine the fate of a relationship, but the most crucial one is each partner’s underlying attitude is towards the other. Whether unconscious or intended, that core set of thoughts is often deeply embedded, pervasive, and negatively biased. As the argument heats up, one or both of the partners will fall back into this default position, dooming any hope of successful resolution.

Default positions are most likely to intensify in established relationships. The longer people have been together, the more they are likely to repeat established patterns. These ritualistic interactions usually emerge slowly in intimate relationship but can explode early on if any differences are pronounced and passionate.  Because they are often intertwined with positive aspects, they can often stay invisible too long, causing much greater problems down the line. They are also deeply defended against rational inquiry, and can be notably resistant to change.

When these internal, fixed attitudes are not identified and corrected, the partners in an intimate relationship do not realize how much power they have to affect their disputes. They do know that most of their arguments leave them drowning in whirlpools of confusion, often not remembering what they were arguing about, or why their resolutions didn’t hold.

Negative default positions are often relationship destroyers. No matter how much a more typical relationship partner loves and values another, he or she will not be able to survive continuous onslaughts of negative default positions. It is the classic “I can’t win for losing” conundrum.

Anytime either partner comes from a core experience of a basic negative attitude towards the other, all disagreements will eventually be twisted into a one-sided criticism that defies reality. Those pre-determined expressions of invalidation will doom the targeted partner to a life of defending his or her basic worth. Unless martyrdom is the goal, that person will eventually leave the relationship.

If you can identify your own fixed, negative default positions, you can replace them with a far more successful set of skills that can turn frustrating, repetitive conflicts into positive resolutions. When you have mastered that new process, you can create a deeper intimacy through embracing each other’s differences and opening up to the possibilities of deeper intimacy.

Examples of Negative Default Positions

Wipe-Outs

Wipe-outs are verbal invalidations that erase a partner’s estimated value in the moment. The partner using a wipe-out will use any interaction to exaggerate faults and minimize any positive contribution. Any attempts by the target of a wipe-out to rectify a misunderstanding, make-up for a mistake, or just to create a quality interaction, are met with challenges. These continuously criticized partners live in the tragedy gap of never feeling “good enough.”

Negative Default Position:

She’s such a loser. I wonder what excuse she’ll use this time.

She: “Hi honey. Dinner is going to be a little late. I got stuck in the market talking to our next door neighbor and lost track of time. How are you?”

He: “What do you mean, how am I? What’s that, your attempt to cover up breaking the deal again? I might as well never believe anything you tell me because you can’t keep your word. Why do I ever expect you’re going to do what you say?

She: “Hey, you’re being really mean. Let up. It’s no big deal, 15 minutes. Why are you so angry?”

He: “Don’t lay this on me just to get out of it. Just because it’s a small example doesn’t mean you get to minimize it. Don’t bother. I’m going out to get a hamburger.”

Over-Controllers

Some relationship partners are so concerned with being controlled that they won’t let their partners have the final say in anything. They will argue, invalidate, or dismiss any comment that might put them in the one-down position, even if their partners are correct. Their core feeling is that their partners will dominate them if they are not kept in their places. Because of their fear of being less-than, they don’t allow in any information that might change their minds.

Negative Default position:

He would run my whole life if I allow him to.

He: “I just saw Tim and Jean at the park and they want us to join them later for a BBQ? I told them we were free tonight. How about it, sweetheart? It’s a beautiful night and we haven’t been out all week. Might warm us up a little.”

She: “You always spring these things on me. I already have something I have to do tonight. Tell them thanks but maybe some other time.”

He: “You told me this morning that you were looking forward to the weekend because you didn’t have any obligations. You didn’t tell me you already had something you had to do.”

She: “Just because I told you I didn’t have any obligations doesn’t mean I wanted you to find one for me.”

He: “But you told me that you like this couple and wished we could spend more time with them. I don’t understand.”

She: “Just don’t make plans for me without asking first, okay? I’m not some kind of plug-in partner whenever you want to do something.”

Dyed-in-the-Wool Pessimists

Unfortunately, there are intimate partners who are so afraid that their desires will be thwarted that they imagine the worst possible outcome and pre-defeat their needs. Any partner behavior that smacks of a potentially positive outcome will be met with a rapid invalidation. They would rather live an unfulfilled life than risk disappointment or disillusionment. They usually attract positive people who want to save them from their continuous expectations of doom. Those locked-in expectations of loss can defeat even the most ardent of rescuers.

Default position:

Nothing ever works out for the better, so why even try?

She: “Hi, honey. I’ve got great news. I got the promotion and the raise. We can finally plan that great vacation we’ve always wanted.”

He: “Does that mean you’ll have to work longer hours. You’re never home as it is.”

She: “Well, probably for a while. But why are you focusing on that? This is the opportunity of my life to finally make it and you were all for it. What’s the problem?”

He: “I’m not trying to spoil your deal. I just know that things don’t come for free and we’ll have to make sacrifices. I don’t want to count on something without knowing what it’ll cost. And it always does, you have to admit. So we get to go on a great vacation. They’ll take it out on you some way, and we’ll be the losers.”

Successful Default Positions

It is not possible for couples to eliminate all default positions. Everyone needs a confident and secure platform to fall back on when they are in a conflict situation. If relationship partners understand each other’s core attitudes and evaluations, they know what to expect in a disagreement. Until those core evaluations are clearly seen and changed when necessary, the couple will drown in repeated disagreements and are doomed to repeat them.

For positive conflict resolution, both partners must be willing to re-evaluate their default positions on a regular basis. They must strike a balance between validating each other’s positions while being while simultaneously being realistic about their differences. When couples are willing to openly communicate their core default positions to one another, they can evaluate together whether they are relationship supportive or destructive.

If a couple understands the danger of extreme negative default positions, they can begin making them more realistic. They must also reevaluate what they truly feel inside as a disagreement begins.  Negative extreme positions highly correlate with eye-rolling, extreme doubt, and words of invalidation or defense. They are impervious to new data. It is similar to a courtroom situation where the gavel has come down and no new discovery is allowed.

Successful default positions have several things in common:

They are objective

They are flexible

They search for old negative patterns that hurt the relationship

Both partners are eager to rid themselves of any locked-in prejudices that can keep them from learning more about each other. They are interested and intrigued by where their fixed biases were formed, and why they have continued to use them.

Examples of Successful Default Positions

Objectivity

Most partners get into trouble when they argue because each loses perspective and holds more tightly to their own reality. As the disagreement takes on energy and fear of loss, they are more likely to fall prey to an old pattern that erases any reality but their own.

Intimate partners, as they strive to be deeply heard and validated by the other, can feel the negative energy begin to destroy that possibility, and stop it before it takes hold.

Successful default position:

You are important to me. Your way of looking at any situation matters to me. I never want to win at your expense or erase what you are feeling and thinking. Our best solution to any argument is a new truth forged out of mutual respect for each of our positions.

He: “I just don’t like that restaurant. The food tastes old, the waiters are rude, and the prices are too high. Don’t ask me to go there again.”

She: “I think you’re being really rigid about this. We’ve had good times there before. You’ve even recommended it to our friends. Why should one bad night make you want to cross them off our list forever?”

He: (heating up) “You’re not listening to me. I had a lousy time tonight. Why can’t you just accept that I’m angry and stop trying to change my mind?”

She: (Realizing they are losing objectivity) “Hold on, sweetheart. I think we’re sliding. My default position in the past was to make everything nice and yours has been to not get ripped off. We need to listen to each other. The food was bad tonight and I shouldn’t be making excuses for it.”

He: (relaxing) “And I shouldn’t be so goddamn opinionated. I had a day filled with stupid, rude people and I’m way overreacting. Sorry, babe. Let’s call the manager and tell him how we felt about it. He’s a great guy.”

Flexibility

When couples begin to differ, they often become rigid in their positions. As the argument heats up, that rigidity has to wipe out any other data in order to survive. What could have been an opening for seeing the world from more than one perspective quickly becomes a top-down need to win. As each partner stiffens, the other pushes back, mocks a giving-in, or disconnects. Both seem to fear that one opinion will stand at the expense of the other.

With the loss of flexibility, both partners are likely to forget that they can damage their intimacy if either of them is sacrificed. Childhood patterns of submission or rebellion increase, and maturity diminishes.

Successful default position:

I trust you. I know that you want me to feel heard and validated. Even if we are disagreeing in the moment, I know we will find a way to stay open to each other’s way of thinking. I need to stay flexible and not jump to conclusions because staying close is better.

She: “I am really upset about the way you treated my mom today. She didn’t do anything to hurt you and you were so rude. She left upset and now I’m going to have to fix it. I want you to call her and apologize. At least tell her you were just in a bad mood and didn’t mean it. And you need to do it tonight so I can get some sleep.”

He: (surprised and rebellious) “Your mom is the most overly sensitive person I’ve ever known. I didn’t do anything that bad. She loves being a martyr and sets me up. Why aren’t you calling her and telling her that she overreacted to me? Why is it always my fault? You cater to her.”

She: (getting angrier and more rigid) “There you go again, making it someone else’s problem. Why don’t you ever own up to your contribution when things go wrong? My mom tried to be nice even after you were so critical. I’m not backing down here. You were wrong and you need to admit it.”

He: (realizing that they were slipping into negative default positions) “This isn’t good. We’re both hardening and making the other person the bad guy. I know you want everyone to be okay and I love that about you. It’s just hard when you want me to be the fall guy and I know that your mom isn’t helping.”

She: (taking a breath and listening) “You’re right. I do always defend her and that ends up making the problem between us. It shouldn’t be that way. I guess I trust you to do the right thing more than I trust her and it’s hard for me to listen to her complain about you. That’s not fair to you. I need your help to figure out a better way to handle this.”

What Are Your Default Positions?

Here are some questions that will help you identify and change your automatic default positions if they are turning your conflicts into disconnects and destroying the love between you.

When you and your partner begin to argue, what emotions and thoughts are behind your words?

As a conflict between you heats up, what facial expressions would you see if you were to look into a mirror?

Once you are locked into an argument, what do you believe your partner is thinking about you?

When you are arguing with your partner, do you remind yourself of people from your past that modeled that behavior?

Which of your default positions bring you closer or turn you farther away from your partner?

Once you are backed into a corner, can you alter your position?

Have you practiced the same default position in other close relationships?

Does your default position in your relationship truly reflect the way you feel about your partner?

It is a very helpful starting point for positive change if you and your partner honestly answer these questions and then share your answers. Come out from behind any negative default positions. Encourage each other to integrate what you consistently feel inside with how you present yourself in a conflict interaction. That process may uncover deeper heartaches between you at first, but you will become closer over time. Ignoring them will cause much more damage in the long run. What you can see, you can change.

Psychology Today

Divorce Questions: How Does Adultery Affect A Divorce Case?

Wondering how cheating could affect your divorce case? Here’s what you need to know, from Katherine Eisold Miller, a collaborative lawyer and family mediator. Have questions? Ask in the comments.

Marriages can end when one member of the couple discovers that the other has had an adulterous relationship. How important is the impact of the extra-marital relationship on the divorce itself? Legally, the answer varies from state to state. In some states, there is very little impact at all while, in others, it can have a substantial influence on the outcome.

Historically, there was a much higher correspondence between adultery and divorce then there is today. Adultery by a woman was often viewed more seriously and punished more harshly than if committed by a man. This remains the case in some countries today, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, where an adulterous wife could face a violent death. In the United States, adultery remains a crime in some states but is rarely prosecuted.

These days, adultery rarely has much of an impact on the distribution of assets — except in cases where one spouse has used marital assets to support the extra-marital relationship. For example, if a husband borrows against a marital asset in order to support his mistress, that fact would likely be taken into account in distributing the assets of the marriage.

Adultery is also unlikely to affect a custody determination so long as the wayward spouse has not carried on the relationship in front of the children or exposed them to inappropriate people or situations during the course of the affair.

In some states where fault is still a factor in divorce proceedings (even where no-fault divorce exists, in some states there is still fault-based divorce that — when proven — can impact support or property division) an adulterous relationship can seriously reduce (or even eliminate) the obligation of one spouse to pay alimony to the unfaithful spouse regardless of need. In addition, alimony already in place is often terminated when a spouse or ex-spouse lives with another person.

If the straying spouse happens to pick up a sexually transmitted disease, and later infects his or her spouse with that illness, that can give rise to a personal injury action between spouses called an interspousal tort.

Far and away the biggest, most likely and most problematic influence adultery will have on a divorce is in the negotiation of settlement. Statistically, divorce cases are overwhelmingly likely to settle — over 90 percent or more in most jurisdictions. A cheating spouse often feels guilty or sheepish in the aftermath of discovery or confession and the cuckolded spouse typically feels angry and retributive. The emotional stance of each party coming into the negotiation can drastically affect the terms of the settlement.

When making important decisions about your finances, your children and your lifestyle it is important to be in as calm a state of mind as possible. People who make the best choices in their divorce negotiations are able to separate their actions from their reactions — in other words, they are able to think about what is best for themselves and their families separately from the emotions they feel about the adultery. Choosing divorce lawyers and other professionals who can work together to support a family through all aspects of this painful situation is probably the best way to get through it successfully. More information about how this can work is available at CollaborativePractice.com and WestchesterFamilyLaw.com.

L.A. Firefighter Busted For MMA Fights While On Workers Comp

By Stephen Smith

Raphael Davis (Credit: CBS Los Angeles)

(CBS News) On the surface, it doesn’t seem like a big deal: A firefighter in Los Angeles competes in mixed martial arts fights in his spare time.

The problem is, the fireman’s “spare time” happened to be while he left the firehouse on worker’s compensation, declaring he was unfit to do his job.

According to CBS Los Angeles, Raphael Davis was arrested Tuesday at his home on suspicion of filing false workers’ compensation insurance claims. He is being held on $30,000 bail. Investigators say that while he filed false claims from 2008-2011, Davis was participating in mixed martial arts fights as “The Noodle.”

How in the world did “The Noodle” expect to get away with this one? MMA videos are routinely posted online after bouts. It didn’t take long for KCAL to locate a YouTube video of Davis training in 2010 and competing in 2008:

According to the MMA website sherdog.com, the 6-foot-3, 203-pound Davis posted an impressive 12-2 MMA record. His dominant performance probably only served to bring more attention to the malingering firefighter.

Prosecutors filed four counts of insurance fraud against Davis, who filed for workers’ compensation insurance between Dec. 2, 2008 and May 20, 2011, according to Head Deputy John Morris with the district attorney’s healthcare fraud division. Authorities did not say what type of illness or injury Davis claimed on his workers comp insurance.

If Davis is convicted as charged, he faces up to five years in county jail.

Los Angeles City Firefighter Accused of Worker’s Compensation Fraud

Private Investigator Bill Raises Some Concerns

Private investigator bill raises some concerns.

By Michael McFall

Standard-Examiner staff

Mon, 03/26/2012 – 6:22am

SALT LAKE CITY — Lt. Lee Perry of the Utah Highway Patrol has reservations about Senate Bill 210 that gives new powers to private investigators.

The bill passed the Legislature but has yet to be signed by Gov. Gary Herbert. SB 210 would allow private agencies such as law firms and real estate companies to hire private investigators to serve all civil processes, including vacate and eviction notices, bench warrants, summonses and subpoenas. These are responsibilities that are now done by constables or law enforcement officers.

“They’re not trained in the same way as officers,” said Perry, who is also a state representative from Box Elder County and voted against the bill.

Many private investigators are former officers who know how to handle those situations, but under current state law, anyone who wants to be an investigator doesn’t have to take police training, “and that’s the hang-up,” Perry said.

Perry wonders what happens when people who don’t understand the recipient’s basic constitutional rights act inappropriately. If a resident or the investigators end up having to call law enforcement to assist in the situation, he questions what the bill really accomplishes.

The bill faced stiff opposition in the Senate, but passed 16-12 after sponsor Sen. Stephen Urquhart, R-St. George, added that the investigators cannot make arrests when serving a bench warrant.

Rep. Lowry Snow, R-St. George, sponsored the bill in the House and made sure to include a provision that investigators cannot use any force or breach the peace in performing these duties.

“It is true that (private investigators) have not been through the same training that a police officer will go through or a constable,” Snow said. “But they are regulated by the state Department of Professional Licensing and must adhere to the rules and regulations of that agency.”

In the House, Perry added a requirement that the investigators have to identify themselves and state that they’re acting as process servers, carry visible credentials and provide their contact information.

He also changed the bill so that if a sheriff’s office receives a credible complaint about an investigator, the department can ban him or her from performing those duties in that county ever again.

“I tried to give as much protection as I possibly could,” Perry said.

The final version passed the House on the last night of the session by a 38-36 vote.

One local private investigator shares Perry’s concerns about the possible law.

Jeff Nelson, who has been a private investigator in North Salt Lake for almost 35 years, said the bill does not make much sense to him. He’s been involved in at least 2,000 criminal cases and worries for the investigator’s safety while serving warrants. Sometimes “you run into someone who is a bad guy,” he said.

It’s better to send someone into these situations who is more qualified, he said.

If the governor signs SB 210, Perry plans to work with Rep. Curtis Oda, R-Clearfield, over the coming months on a new bill that would further clarify what the investigators can and cannot do.

Classes Challenge Internet ‘Investigators’

By JOE HARRIS

CLAYTON, Mo. (CN) – In two class actions on the frontier of Internet law, people claim that Intelius and Digimedia dba Peoplefinder work as private investigators in Missouri without state certification.
Intelius, based in Bellevue, Wash., offers its services through its website intelious.com.
Named plaintiff Michael Brown claims Intelius says its investigations can get information about crimes threatened or committed against the United States; the identity, credibility, habits, business, integrity, credibility, trustworthiness, loyalty, movements, affiliations, and reputation of certain individuals; and information on a person’s address, phone number history, social media history, criminal record, family and financial history.
Brown says Intelius is working as a private investigator without a license.
In the second class action, filed by the same law firm, lead plaintiff Thuy Nguyen makes the same accusation against Digimedia.com dba Peoplefinder.com
“At no pertinent time has defendant ever held a license [to] engage in private investigator business in the State of Missouri, nor has it ever held a license to engage in business in the State of Missouri as a private investigator agency,” Brown says in his complaint in St. Louis County Court. “Moreover, defendant has never applied for any such licenses.
“At no pertinent time have any of defendant’s employees ever been licensed pursuant to RMSo § 324.1104 to engage in private investigator business in the state of Missouri.
“At all pertinent times, defendant’s failure to hold the license(s) … was information that a reasonable consumer would consider important in deciding whether to hire defendant for the purpose of having the defendant or its employees engage in private investigator business.”
The class consists of all Missourians who have bought private investigations from Feb. 1, 2010 to final judgment. The law requiring such a license was passed in 2007, but Brown’s attorney, Michael Kruse, said the state finally got the mechanisms to enforce the law on Feb. 1, 2010.
“We were concerned with the value customers are getting in light of the licensing statue,” Kruse told Courthouse News.
“They have a right to comply with the law. There is a reason why the state of Missouri felt it needed such controls and companies can’t be above the law through their business model using the Internet.”
The classes seek an injunction, rescission of contracts, restitution and actual and punitive damages for breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation by omission, and violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act.
Kruse practices for the law firm Onder, Shelton, O’Leary & Peterson in St. Louis.
Kruse filed the nearly identical class action against Digimedia.com dba Peoplefinder.com.
Kruse said he does not expect his firm to file any more class actions against private investigation companies.
“We were looking at several different companies and those two were the most major violators,” Kruse said. 

Courthouse News Service

iPhone Video Timestamp App For Private Investigators

by Steven Santarpia
ICORP Investigations 

It’s finally here! An app for private investigators to take video on their IPhone with a timestamp. It’s called VideoTimeStamp made by Contraptionz. The cost is $29.99. You can record video at 640×480 or 960×640 resolution, with a time and/or date stamp burned in! IOS 5.0 required.I’ve been using the app for a month and I definitely give it my seal of approval. My private investigators at ICORP Investigations also seem to like the app. I think it works well for claims investigations. For instance, I followed a claimant into a Home Depot not too long ago. I  approached the claimant while I made like I was texting someone on my iPhone. The claimant had no idea I was filming him. That of course, is what its all about.

You can hold your iPhone vertically and horizontally  to take video, which is a great feature. When holding it vertically, you can make like you are texting someone and video the target. When holding it horizontally, you can hold the iPhone down by your side to video while walking. Another great feature the VideoTimeStamp app has is you can tap the iPhone screen twice to make the screen go dark. Thus, your iPhone looks like its inactive. For domestic investigations like a cheating spouse case, this app can also be helpful when trying to obtain hidden video.

Maybe the best aspect of this app is you’ll have your iPhone with you all the time. The investigator no longer has to carry another device to obtain hidden video. Plus, the quality of video and the reliability of the hidden cams most insurance investigators use to obtain hidden video make this app a very welcoming addition to our bag of tricks.

The Three Key Players Every Woman Needs on Her Divorce Team

Divorce Financial Strategist(TM)

 

Deciding to proceed ahead with a divorce isn’t easy, and whether you reached that conclusion by yourself, were blindsided by a pronouncement from your husband, or something in between, you’re probably still a little numb and left wondering, “What do I do now?”

That question can be answered on many different levels, of course. But, as a Divorce Financial Strategist™ who exclusively works with divorcing women throughout the country, my advice is to direct your focus immediately on creating a solid strategy, one that will help you emerge from divorce in the best possible shape, both emotionally and financially.

How do you make that kind of game plan? Easy. I believe there is one thing you need to do that can make all the difference between a successful divorce settlement and one that is considerably less favorable:

Build a winning divorce team.

Yes, you need a “team.” In the past, divorce was a simpler process involving only the divorcing couple and their lawyers. But these days, you’ll also need the support of other professionals, particularly those who can help secure your financial interests both in the short- and long-term. To protect your financial stability and personal well-being, build a solid divorce team that includes these three essential players:

1. A Matrimonial/Family Law Attorney

Look for an attorney who exclusively handles divorce cases or devotes at least 75 percent of his/her practice to divorce. Ideally, your lawyer will be a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, an organization requiring the fulfillment of several stringent professional conditions.

When interviewing potential candidates, please don’t hesitate to get a little nosy. Certainly, you’ll want to discuss the individual complexities of your case, but be sure to explore the lawyer’s own qualifications and fees as well. Honesty and openness are the best strategies here because there’s no need for any “surprises” once you’ve started working together. Find out answers to questions like these:

• How many cases has he/she has recently handled, how many have been settled and how many have gone to trial? What were the outcomes of these cases?
• Does he/she typically represent the husband or wife? What percentage of each?
• Will he/she personally handle all aspects of your case, or will your case be passed to a more junior attorney and/or paralegal (and at whose rate will you be charged)?

In addition, be certain you feel personally at-ease with whomever you choose. By its very nature, divorce is a delicate and emotional experience, and you need your attorney to be a trusted, supportive and forward-thinking resource throughout the entire process. “Bedside manner” is extremely important. I’ve had a number of clients who had to fire their otherwise highly qualified divorce attorney because the attorney did not respect women!

2. A Divorce Financial Planner

A divorce financial planner is not the same as a financial advisor, financial planner, stockbroker, CPA or accountant. A divorce financial planner is equipped with all the necessary specialized tools for the divorce process, including divorce financial planning, asset protection strategies and the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) designation.

As the financial expert on your team, your divorce financial planner should work hand-in-hand with your divorce attorney and take care of the critical financial tasks that are beyond the capacity of the attorney’s expertise. These tasks can range from preparing the financial affidavits to projecting the financial and tax implications of each divorce settlement option.

In addition, your divorce financial planner will also be responsible for creating the comprehensive financial analyses and projections that you and your divorce attorney will need to fully understand the short- and long-term financial and tax implications of each proposed divorce settlement offer. Your attorney will then use those conclusions to substantiate and justify his/her positions when negotiating with your husband’s attorney.

In certain cases, other additional specialists are needed as well, so be sure your divorce financial planner has the necessary contacts to bring in experts such as:

A forensic accountant. A forensic accountant helps explore concerns about hidden income/assets/liabilities and/or the possible dissipation of marital assets. He/she may also be very useful when one or both spouses own a business or professional practice where it is rather easy to hide income/assets and/or delay revenues and increase expenses.
A valuation expert. A valuation expert can determine the worth of a business or professional practice by using the “real” numbers determined by a forensic accountant. A valuation expert can also establish the value of an advanced degree or training, stock options and/or restricted stock, etc.
A real estate appraiser. A real estate appraiser determines the value of the marital home and other real estate including vacation homes, commercial real estate and land, which are often the largest assets needing to be divided.

3. A Therapist/Counselor

Many people describe divorce as an emotional roller coaster, and at times, it can be difficult to navigate the ups and downs of the process. Because of this, your team should also include a qualified therapist who can help you cope with your feelings as the divorce process unfolds.

Even though this is a stressful time, please try to remember: It’s imperative to maintain your focus andThink Financially, Not Emotionally®. Treating the divorce as a business negotiation — which, in all honesty, is exactly what it is — will help you reach a divorce settlement agreement that financially protects you now and well into the future.

Granted, nothing about divorce is easy, but you don’t — and shouldn’t — have to go it alone. Build a top-notch divorce team with three key players — a matrimonial/family law attorney, a divorce financial planner and a therapist/counselor — and you’ll have the professional expertise and support you need to emerge from your divorce in the best shape possible, with your finances intact and your financial future secure.
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Jeffrey A. Landers, CDFA™ is a Divorce Financial Strategist™ and the founder of Bedrock Divorce Advisors, LLC, a divorce financial strategy firm that exclusively works with women across the nation, who are going through, or might be going through, a financially complicated divorce.

He also advises happily married women who have seen their friends blindsided by a divorce initiated by their husbands and wonder (wisely) how financially vulnerable they’d be in that situation. Jeff developed the nation’s first Just in Case(TM): Secure Your Financial Future, a one-hour program, which quickly shows married women how to be prepared in the event of a future divorce with immediate, practical steps. He can be reached at Landers@BedrockDivorce.com.

All articles/blog posts are for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice. If you require legal advice, retain a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author, who is not an attorney.

Follow Jeffrey A. Landers on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Bedrock_Divorce


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