Divorce is rarely a pleasant process, but some divorces become outrageous public spectacles that damage everybody involved. Once the details become public, friends, relatives and neighbors can feel forced to choose sides, and the damage to someone’s personal and professional reputation can be significant.
How do you stop that kind of thing from happening in your divorce? Is there a way to keep things private? Here are some suggestions:
1. Be careful about what you say and do in public
First, you need to make sure that you aren’t inadvertently fueling any public fires. What you see as mild “grousing” to your friends or social media followers about your situation could be seen as a call to battle by your spouse. Nothing can blow up your privacy quite as quickly as a divorce where one or both parties take to social media with their story.
2. Ask for a confidentiality agreement
Generally speaking, it’s to everybody’s advantage to keep things publicly civil, so it never hurts to ask your spouse for some kind of confidentiality agreement. This is basically a private contract that can set the terms for the “public face” of your divorce and establish either a non-disparagement or non-disclosure rule (or some combo of the two) between you.
3. Consider using a private judge
Private judging is something that you often see in high-profile divorces involving celebrities, but they’re also used by community leaders, politicians, highly visible executives and small business owners or professionals who are worried about how their private drama could affect their careers. This allows most of your divorce to take place outside of the courtroom, where everything is on public record.
Finally, make sure that you seek out the guidance of an experienced attorney. Few people understand the nuances of divorce as well as someone who has ushered many clients through the process from beginning to end. Explain your concerns about your privacy and find out what tactics they suggest.