A premarital background check, or a premarriage background check as it is also called, is a sound way to confirm that what you know about your future spouse is correct. It may not be something you’d think of doing, but it could save you from future headaches.
Why Would You Want to Conduct a Premarital Background Check
Needless to say, not everyone should have a premarital background check done. However, if you feel anything at all bothering you, even minor nagging details, you should consider them worth a quick investigation. Or, maybe you just want to be sure what you’ve been told is true. Whatever the reason, it is not a sign of mistrust against your future spouse but an affirmation that things are the way they should be. It’s for your own safety and peace of mind.
Celia was deeply saddened when her husband died. They had been married for fifty some years and a lot of things had happened along the way. They had brought up three magnificent sons who now had their own lives. There were grandchildren and all the joys of being a grandparent. When her husband was struck with cancer and taken away, Celia was, of course, devastated.
On the day of the funeral, in the mourning crowd, there was a middle-aged man nobody in the family recognized. Furthermore, he bore a striking resemblance to Celia’s husband. Let’s call him Eric. It turned out Eric was a son Celia’s husband had conceived before he ever met and married Celia. Celia’s husband just never told her about Eric.
Celia’s husband had met with Eric discreetly along the years. They had always stayed in touch. So, imagine Celia’s surprise meeting this strange man at her husband’s funeral. After all, they had been married for over fifty years and she knew nothing about Eric. Guess how this made Celia feel? It was like her husband had carried on with another life all these years about which Celia knew nothing.
All in all, the story ends well in the sense that Eric never wanted anything but to pay his respects to his father. He showed up when the distribution of inheritance took place. However, he declared he wanted no part of the inheritance or any money. But what if he had?
That would have disrupted Celia’s future greatly and she may not have been able to keep her home of many years. It would have affected the lives of the three sons, as well. The above happened in real life in my family to one of my relatives.
These Things Happen in Real Life
You may have seen this kind of news before or maybe seen a story in social media. People getting married not knowing about their spouses’ past. They think they have found the right one, but yet do not know important facts about their past. Furthermore, they don’t think the past could come and haunt the future.
There may be children from a previous marriage that their spouse did not reveal. Alternatively, there may be outstanding loans or financial commitments to be met. Furthermore, here may be a criminal record, minor or major, which might make a difference to you. Worse yet, sexual abuse.
Let’s assume you are ready to get married. Oh, I know, you’re in seventh heaven. You have dated long enough and you are sure you want to be with this person for the rest of your life. You have gotten to know each other. They have told you things about their past, as you have done. So, you have found your lifelong companion and the proposal came just at the right time.
Take a deep breath and consider the following questions. Do you really know all about their past? If you can confidently say yes, you’re good to go. Another question is, should you care? Most people do not disclose all about their past, and that is fair. Trivial things don’t matter. Let bygones be bygones. But how about the things that do matter? Your partner may have failed to tell you about something that would make you see them in a different light. It may be something that could affect the present day and the future.
What a Premarital Background Check Includes
Depending on what information you feel is crucial to you, a premarital background check can involve just checking the basic facts or a more thorough check. Here are some basic things that your background check should include:
- Name and Date of Birth. This would be a basic verification that your premarital background check is about the correct person and that they have given you the correct information.
- Marriage and Divorce Records. Needless to say, this is important information to you. Was your future partner was married before and if so, why did it end up in a divorce and was the divorce finalized? Were there children and are there any financial obligations remaining?
- Criminal Records. You would want to make sure there are no serious convictions. Unfortunately, this is something most people would hide. Knowing about it could make you reconsider. If it’s something you wouldn’t be able to talk about, it could lead to future complications. In most states, criminal records are public records, but juvenile records may have been erased or expunged.
In addition, a more thorough background could include aliases, a phone number and email search, and a social media search. Furthermore, common/shared residency not involving a marriage can be checked, as well as assets, property and bankruptcies. To add to the list, employment, business ownership, driver’s license and concealed weapons may also be considerations to check.
How to Go About Getting a Premarital Background Check
Most likely you would want information from vital records, which usually means birth and death certificates, marriage licenses and divorce decrees, wills and similar records. Local authorities create and maintain vital records. To do the search yourself, you may be able to do some searching online on local government and court websites. A lot of information is available and obtainable online these days. However, some information is only available on site via internal computer records, so you would physically have to go there. Worse yet, some older records still may be available only on paper and filed in archives.
You might have to contact the vital records department or archives of the state in question, or State office or City or Town Clerk, or a certain division of court. Depending on the state, availability ranges from it being as easy as ordering it online to you not being able to order or obtain copies due to confidentiality concerns. You would also need to know the state and county where the event took place. In any case, they price each search separately. The bottom line is, you may not be able to do this yourself.
You can try online people search engines. There are dozens of them advertising background checks. They can search public databases and come up with some results. But…and there is always a “but.” You know the expression “a dime a dozen”, right? If you cannot access some information due to confidentiality issues but need authorization, neither can they. They don’t have any more authorization than you have.
So, don’t expect accurate or comprehensive reports from online people search engines. They can give you only what’s available in public records. Unfortunately, most of them also slap you with a monthly subscription, which is hard to cancel.
The Best Way to Conduct a Premarital Background Check
Your best option is a straight-forward one. You can order a premarital background check from a licensed private investigator. They should be able to offer you a comprehensive background check for no more than $500 to give you an estimate of the price. A PeopleSearchLive comprehensive premarital background check solution includes all essentials. Alternatively, what information you want to include is up to you.
When dealing with private investigators, look for one that will give you a free initial consultation. As said, a premarital background check can be tailor-made to your needs. This way you can assure it covers only what you want to check. You receive the results you’re looking for and won’t end up paying for anything extra.
In addition, make sure they guarantee full confidentiality and have a money back guarantee. Using a private investigator makes the most sense, because it is the most accurate way and marriage is an important step in your life. Hopefully this has shed some light on whether you should consider a premarital background check and what it entails.