Celebrities aren’t the only people who struggle to keep details of their divorce out of the public view. Many couples have business, political or social reasons for wanting to keep their separation discreet. Fortunately, there are legal tools available to protect the privacy of divorcing couples. To that end, here are four of the most common strategies.
1. Opt for Negotiations Instead of Litigation
One way to keep your divorce discreet is to opt for mediation or settlement discussions instead of litigation. In mediation, the divorcing spouses work with a neutral third party mediator to iron out the settlement terms. In settlement discussions, divorcing spouses and their attorneys work together to settle the divorce. The agreement will be filed with the court, but the disputes to arrive at the agreement won’t have to be.
2. Collaborative Divorce
In a collaborative divorce, ex-spouses agree to settle their divorce through in a series of collaborative meetings between the parties, specially trained collaborative divorce attorneys, and other experts (such as mental health and financial professionals). The meetings are confidential and held outside the traditional court system. The parties also agree upfront that their collaborative attorneys cannot represent them in court if they fail to reach a divorce settlement during the process.
3. Hire A Private Judge
Another option for keeping your divorce private is to hire a private judge. In the states that allow it, divorcing couples can agree to share the expense of hiring a judge to decide their divorce case privately. Private judges have the same powers, duties and authorities as public ones, but the procedures for using the services of a private judge vary from state to state.
4. Request a Protective Order
If you must go to court for your divorce, another way to protect your confidentiality is to request a protective order or to seal the divorce record. In a protective order, you list every document that you want to keep discreet, and ask the court protect its confidentiality. When the court seals a divorce record, it means that a person cannot access it through ordinary means. Instead, an inquiry party must file a petition to unseal the record of the proceedings.
If you need help keeping your divorce out of the public eye, we can help. Send us a message or call us at (314) 454-9100 today.
Who is Mary Neff?
Mary Neff has experience working with families and children which makes her a sought after divorce attorney, litigator, and mediator in family law. Mary’s extensive experience in child development and parent education allow her to represent families in what can be a difficult time in their lives. Mary’s practice area of family law includes divorce, mediation, litigation, custody, visitation, paternity, modifications and post-dissolution matters.
Mary’s philosophy is to help couples design their divorce so that it meets their individual needs for the future as well as the family as a whole. Mary is passionate about mediation because she sees first hand how low conflict resolution saves time, money, and the children. Mary’s passion for children resonates from her time as a parent educator in Illinois. She also is a Guardian ad Litem in Missouri.