Mindy is a struggling 20-something retail worker in Toronto. A handsome man with a vaguely European accent walks into Mindy’s store one day. Their eyes meet, and instantly they know that there’s something special between them. During their whirlwind romance, questions arise about the handsome man’s true identity, and Mindy develops doubts . . .

This scenario plays itself out repeatedly in the movies, but you might be surprised that it happens in real life too. In the movies, the handsome man usually turns out to be a prince or a secret billionaire who whisks Mindy away to a life of luxury and eternal love. In real life, the outcome is often something different from this.

Getting married is a huge milestone in a person’s life. It means embarking on a lifetime of joint adventures, buying a home, maybe raising a family. But it’s also a contract—a legal and financial arrangement that has consequences for both partners. Getting a background check before you walk down the aisle doesn’t mean you don’t trust your partner; it means you’re entering into that contract willingly and with complete information.

Here are the most important things a pre-marriage background check can reveal:

  • Marital status: Has your partner been married before? Did they obtain a legal divorce? You might be surprised by how often a couple gets a quickie offshore divorce that isn’t legal in Canada, meaning that they’re still married. Finding this out in advance will save you a lot of hassle when filing the paperwork for your wedding.
  • Parental responsibilities: Does your partner have children they have not told you about? Do they pay child support for these children? Do they have any other financial commitments to them (ex: paying for their education)?
  • Personal habits: Does your future spouse gamble in secret? Do they make large purchases impulsively? Do they have attitudes or affiliations that don’t mesh with yours? Your partner may not think it’s important to disclose this sort of thing, but they could be deal-breakers for you, and it’s better to find out about them before you commit to a shared future.
  • Criminal history: Everyone makes mistakes, but what if those mistakes are serious enough to make you think twice? Does your partner have a history of violence or domestic abuse? Have they been caught driving drunk with children in the car? Could their criminal past or criminal associates come back to haunt them? A past run-in with the law may not be serious enough for you to end the relationship, but you need to know the details of the violations to make this decision.
  • Current employment and income: What will your financial future look like if you marry this person? Will you be able to afford the lifestyle you want, or will you need to adjust your aspirations? Is your partner’s work secure? How certain can you be of a comfortable retirement in the future?
  • Financial history: Has your partner been diligent about paying bills and filing taxes? Do they have any liens against their property or garnishments on their wages? Have they ever filed for bankruptcy? Some financial problems may just be bad luck, but it’s better to know if your partner is financially negligent or if they’ve just made a few bad choices.
  • Identity check: Identity theft is becoming more common, so making sure your partner is who they say they are is a good idea. Either you or your partner may also be a victim of identity theft that you don’t know about yet, which could affect your joint finances. An identity check can also reveal if your future spouse operates under any aliases so that you can follow up on those too.

When you meet someone you like, you ask your friends and family for their opinions to be sure they’ll fit in with your world. Getting married is the ultimate version of this, so get input from the people close to you, but add the objective information you can get from a professional investigator. A private investigator isn’t going to tell you what you want to hear—they will tell you what you need to hear. A thorough investigation will put your mind at ease that nothing will derail your happy future.

Star Quality Private Investigations has over 20 years of experience in all kinds of investigations, including background checks, infidelity investigations, and child custody cases. Our resources, techniques and expertise are unmatched in the GTA. We’ll handle your pre-marriage check with discretion and sensitivity so that you can start on this new path in your life with a clear head and an open heart. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you take this critical step!