When celebrity divorce details splash across the tabloid headlines, most people respond with fascination instead of with disgust by the airing of dirty laundry. But it’s not just celebrities who fear that their divorce details will be leaked and will cause public embarrassment. Whether you want to keep your divorce private for business reasons or you’re worried about the social ramifications if your friends and neighbors discover your story, what can you do, practically speaking, to keep your divorce out of the public eye?
1. Draw Up a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement
This strategy may be too late for you, if your relationship has already gotten to a critical state, and you’re considering separation, or you’ve already left the home. However, drafting a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can address how to handle a future divorce with discretion.
2. Seal Divorce Records
Divorce records are public unless you specifically ask that they be sealed. The judge will then decide whether or not to agree to your request and consider factors that would lean toward sealing the record. The courts might seal parts or all of the records for any of the following reasons:
- A history of domestic violence in the relationship
- Protecting children
- Keeping false allegations from public release
- Protecting confidential business data and
- Protecting confidential information, such as bank account or Social Security numbers.
3. Use Mediation
Instead of going through the family court system, use a mediator, a neutral professional who helps you draft a settlement to address every issue in your divorce. Mediation in general is a discreet and private process.
4. Pursue Collaborative Divorce
During collaborative, both parties have lawyers, but they agree not to go to court. Instead, the four individuals work together along with a team of professionals (e.g. financial advisors, therapists, parenting specialists, etc.) to hammer out divorce terms. One thing that gives the collaborative process teeth is that, if a couple fails to come to terms and decides to litigate, their lawyers must quit the process, and the couple needs to find new attorneys.
5. Hire a Private Judge
In open court, your divorce case is a matter of public record. However, a private judge can handle matters without exposing your personal business to the public. However, you and your spouse will need to agree to this option, which could be costly.
6. Don’t Talk about Your Divorce on Social Media
The courts are increasingly relying on social media in legal cases, including family law matters. Limit what you say online. If you post anything, even if you quickly delete after just five minutes, an expert could potentially find it later. Your ex’s attorney could later use the information against you in court.
7. Hire a Competent Divorce Attorney
Do you want a discreet divorce to protect your reputation, your business or your children? Contact our experienced Minnesota family law attorneys today at (763) 783-5146 for a confidential appointment.