separationThe life of a paralegal can be difficult at times, especially if people enter the field underestimating the responsibilities of the job. When most people think about paralegals, they make the mistake of thinking that they’re no more than glorified secretaries. That’s a lot like saying nurses exist just to give injections and hold charts for doctors. The view is severely lacking and inaccurate.

Paralegals have multiple responsibilities that lawyers depend on to make their cases stronger and more effective when the trial date arrives. Paralegal training courses help prepare prospects for the rigors of those tasks, and assist them in carrying them out in an efficient manner. The shock of some of the paralegal’s duties is enough to traumatize a person for life if they didn’t get the right preparation.

Part-time Investigator

A perfect example of one such duty is investigating business assets in divorce cases. The presence of a business in the valuation of marital assets adds several levels of complexity to the process. Many well-informed divorcees like to use their companies as an ideal venue for keeping assets away from the attention of their spouse.

It’s up to paralegals and other investigators to search for transactions that can have a large effect on the joint marital estate hidden within other large transactions that occur in business. The presence of a business in a divorce trial represents a high-risk situation for the even distribution of assets that investigators need to pursue.

No Two Paralegals are Alike

There are several methods available to paralegals and asset investigators to pursue business owners. But, the effectiveness of each strategy depends on the strength of the investigator, and it’s up to them to determine which works best for them.

The most common first step in finding potential hidden assets for an executive is the same as the first step taken in investigating a wage earner – poring through bank statements and check registers. Many practitioners disagree on what to do next; some groups choose to stick to the paper trail, while others elect to interview the owners.

Each strategy carries its own advantages and disadvantages. The most that the training can provide is a picture of the expected challenges every strategy will put in front of the paralegal to face. This is a testament to the difficulty if being a paralegal; there are few direct answers, and every person needs to rely on their wits and resourcefulness to survive.

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