One part of divorce which can concern many people is the matter of privacy. Divorce has a way of taking private matters and turning them into public scrutiny. It can be natural to feel that situations brought up during a divorce, such as lying, cheating or some type of mis-conduct may not be kept a private matter. This can certainly be a worry for a couple going through a high-asset divorce where the stakes can be higher, and the public curiosity may be greater.
You do not need to be a celebrity to have privacy worries during a divorce. If you are a local business owner or just concerned about how perceptions can change with family or friends, you can have legitimate concerns of your standing in the public eye. There are some ways you can ease your fears of sensitive information coming out during your divorce. If you are looking for privacy during your divorce, here are a few things you can do.
Prepare a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement
The one problem with drawing up an agreement at this time is that you may be at a point with your spouse where it is unreasonable. However, by setting up a post-nuptial agreement, you can detail that you want your divorce handled with discretion if it was to ever happen in the future.
Pursue mediation or arbitration
Mediation is when the two divorcing parties have an independent individual work with them on coming to a final divorce agreement. Because mediation is a private matter, any information from meeting with the mediator will not be used in the future without the consent of both divorcing parties. Arbitration is more formal than mediation and will function more like a legal process. Arbitration can typically be faster and be kept more private than standard divorce procedures
When using collaborative divorce, each spouse will have attorneys, but they have agreed they will not go to court. The two sides will work together and determine the terms of the divorce.
Seal the divorce records
Unless they are specifically asked to be sealed, all divorce records are public record. It will be up to the judge in the case to agree or disagree with your request of sealing them by evaluating your reasons. The court can also decide to seal some but not all the documents. Reasons for this can include protecting children, domestic violence issues, keeping false allegations from going public and protecting confidential information.
Some privacy matters will be up to you. Emotional times like divorce can trigger outbursts that may show up at the holiday party or even on social media. If you are interested in keeping your divorce as private as possible, you should consult an attorney on what course of action may work best for you.