When you and your spouse decide to divorce after many years of marriage, maintaining privacy is often an important priority for everyone involved. Even if you and your spouse are able to approach the matter civilly, you don’t want your personal matters to be freely available to anyone who wants to know the inner disfunction of your marriage.
There are a number of ways to protect your privacy during divorce, but none of them are automatic. You must take action and work together with your spouse for ideal results. You may either choose to request the court to seal specific records, or you may keep the entire process confidential through divorce mediation.
Depending on which privacy protection fits your relationship, you may have to prepare very differently for your divorce. Be sure to seek out professional guidance so that you do not miss protections or benefits you deserve in the divorce process.
Sealing court records
If you can present a compelling reason, a court may agree to seal certain records of your court appearances. Without a seal, most divorce records are public by default. Courts seal records with regularity, but it is not something courts do without a request.
Requests to seal documents in court must present a compelling reason to seal specific documents. The scope of the seal is usually rather narrow, only applying to documents that pertain to specific areas, like proprietary business information if a business is up for division as a marital asset.
If your needs for privacy are relatively specific, sealing court documents is often a good option. However, it is important to understand that sealing all court documents related to your divorce is unlikely through the court itself. You are far more likely to seal records pertaining to a certain area of your divorce than all records.
Using mediation for confidentiality
Mediation is not always possible in every divorce scenario, but many more soon-to-be divorcees can use mediation than likely realize it. Mediation is a process through which spouses work with a neutral, trained meditator to reach fair agreements about every aspect of divorce. Mediation can even allow spouses to work out agreements for high-asset, complex divorces.
On top of this, mediation sessions are generally confidential. Through mediation, you can work out even very complicated matters with your spouse and keep all or most of the process out of the courtroom altogether. With no public courtroom documents to worry about, you can spend more attention on reaching a fair divorce agreement.