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Discussion Starter #1
Boleyz's post about internet dating has prompted me to ask the following question.
Say your Son or Daughter is thinking seriously about marriage...would you hire a private detective to check out the potential spouse and his or her family. I ask this because the days of living in small villages/towns and knowing the family history of your child's potential mates is basically over. I am of the opinion that it would be appropriate to have my child's fiancee "checked out" so to speak. This backround check would not be done for every casual romantic interest, just the the relationship{s} that are moving towards potential marriage. It seems to me a backround check could really help avoid the financial/emotional ruin that can be caused by people keeping "secrets" about themselves until they are married. I think it is part of my responsibility as a parent in this day and age to take reasonable precautions to protect my children.

What do you think?

p.s. an informal poll of my friends/co-workers has revealed that they either think it is a GREAT idea and they wished they would have thought of it themselves or they think I would be GROSSLY overstepping my boundries as a parent.
 

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I think that's a bit excessive. The number of people who have major skeletons in the closet is honestly quite minimal if you look at the bigger picture. Not to mention even if they do - you never know. My husband is a felon for dealing meth but he's a different man now, we might have our problems but he was always a good husband and father, very devoted to myself and DD. If we'd done a background check on him it wouldn't look too good, but background checks don't show the person's character or values... it can be indicative of them, sure but if the person has changed, it doesn't show that.
 

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And do *WHAT* with the information you get, if it's negative? :shrug:

Do you really think that a young lady who believes she's in love is going to listen to her DAD -- EVER -- after he tells her that he had a PI check out the man she loves? Trust? Respect? Gone.

Someone who is in the throes of romance -- speeding toward long-term commitment, is in no place MENTALLY to accept such news, especially from someone who was an authority figure in their life, and who they *MIGHT* perceive the motivation to be continuing in that position of authority.

Even if you're right, you're wrong.

I think background checks are a great idea -- when they're thought of and done by one of the people contemplating furthering the relationship. For someone outside of that relationship to do so will be perceived as interference, and I don't know how wrong they'd be.

Stay out of it beyond speaking your mind. Hiring someone to dig dirt smacks of crazed, control-mad inlaws -- and trust me, the long term ramifications of THAT are something you don't want to deal with.

Raise your children to not be gullible, to have a strong sense of self-confidence (so they don't have to learn this the hard way later) and make sure that they know that you'll ALWAYS be there for them (there is no "price" on your allegiance) and then let them go -- it's their life, let them live it. If you've raised them right, they can't go far wrong, and if something bad happens, well, that's life, and we learn by our own mistakes much better than from what others tell us.
 

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Betho is correct, however, it presumes the person tells it all upfront and they are changed.
I think it is a great idea.
In WI there is a public database and we can check out a potential anything, and see if there was honesty or not. That's WI. AK has one too. I don't know what other states let you check out all civil and criminal charges. I think think it is great.
Edited to add: provide the written evidence they can reproduce, so they know you are doing it for the right reasons.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Jeez, Susie I was referring to my two boys in my post.
I agree that it would be a "delicate" process to have my boy's eventual mate checked out, but to me the benefits of a backround check FAR outway the risks.
 

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There are too many other "sins" that a background check fail to show. I married the "boy next door". He went to HS with my older brother and sister; he knew my best friend's sisters. I went to elementary school with his cousins. He abused me for 23 years. After we separated, he stole my identity and tampered with my mail which caused a judgment against me; I lost my credit identity for nearly 1 year. I cannot have him prosecuted for 2 FEDERAL CRIMES because it's a domestic matter; I am his chattel. Because I willingly gave him pertinent information I am not a victim but a willing participant. 9 months after he finally moved out, he crashed my mother's funeral by arranging to be a PAID mourner; I was unable to attend. His record at aged 33, when we met, was clean; he was an honorably discharged Veteran never married. Anyone who "checked" him out then or tomorrow would find NOTHING amiss. Waste of money IMHO.
 

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Boy or girl, the fact remains that you're calling their judgment into question -- what young adult is going to take that well? Unless the young adult in question is used to Dad telling him how to live his life?

In which case, if I were the prospective mate, I think I'd run as far and fast in the opposite direction as possible. Interfering parents can deep-six a marriage faster than any past mistakes can.

I still say, stay out of it beyond telling your child how you honestly feel.
 

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If you choose to do this, which I would not, be very careful of the PI that you hire. Many, maybe most, are just out to get your money and don't really make an effort to do a thorough job. Find one that is an ex LEO.

galump
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm not saying that a backround check is a cure all for checking out potential mates for a child...it is simply one of the tools a parent can use. Handled correctly, it would be a good thing.
 

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Fonzie said:
I'm not saying that a backround check is a cure all for checking out potential mates for a child...it is simply one of the tools a parent can use. Handled correctly, it would be a good thing.
Yeah... you keep telling yourself that. I agree with WIHH, just absolutely not something you ever do without the knowledge and permission of person you're trying to "protect", and when the person has given you no cause to worry anyhow? Ugh, no.
Though I suppose if you're going for total parent-child alienation, you go right ahead with that.
 

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Handled correctly? Good thing? I don't think those words belong on the same page concerning this subject. I would consider the hiring of a detective to be a major trespass.

If the offspring's do not 'learn the life lessons the hard way', how will they be able to teach their own generation of offspring's? Once a person is at the age of seeking a life partner, your job as a parent is done, concerning that specific matter.

This is my opinion, and as always I could be wrong; personally I would consider such as unacceptable.
 

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This is just so wrong on so many levels, it's staggering.

I think your money would be better spent on a psychotherapist in dealing with your control-need issues.
 

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Rather than a private eye, if you have someone's name, address and Date of birth, it's pretty easy to get a NCIS (National Crime Information (?) report, if you know anyone who is in law enforcement at a state or federal level.

There are vast databases and records kept on anyone who has ever committed a felony. In fact, the feds can track any and all arrests...even misdemeanors through their system.

But yes, that would need to be obviously warranted before I would do that...

There are a few online places where you can pay $50 bucks or so and get a background check done on anyone. Those places simply scan databases that are public record, such as court procedings and dockets.
 

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will you freak out when they do a PI investigation on you to see what he is marrying into?

and after if he tries to drag your kid away from you if he thinks you all are nuts?

try becoming good friends with the mark, you;ll find out more and faster.
 

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Better yet, give them the gift of X number of sessions of premarital counselling and let them figure things out themselves. Some friends were concerned about their daughter's relationship and offered the classes. After about 1/2 the classes the boy decided it wasn't a great idea after all and ran off. Broke the gal's heart for a time but she came out a year later much happier that he had left. She found an awesome guy, went through classes again, got married, 3 kids later they are happy as can be.
 
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