When you met your spouse at the altar, you never dreamed you’d someday divorce – but it happens. You’ve accepted the inevitable, but you aren’t particularly keen on the idea that all of the details of your split may become fodder for public scrutiny or gossip.
Is there anything you can do to keep your divorce private? When you don’t want the intimate details of your marital woes, your individual struggles or your finances to become public knowledge, there are a few effective approaches that you can try.
Stay off social media
Don’t be your own worst enemy. While it’s only natural to want to vent your anger at your spouse or your frustrations with the legal process, any comment you make on social media about the situation can be viewed as an attack by your spouse, their family members or friends – and attacks usually provoke counterattacks. If you can’t trust yourself to stay silent, just stay off social media sites entirely.
Pursue an uncontested divorce
A divorce is said to be uncontested, as opposed to litigated, when a couple manages to work out the details of their split without the court’s intervention. Since a judge basically just has to review the agreement to make sure it’s compliant with the law before signing it, that keeps you out of the courtroom as much as possible. The less the court is involved, the fewer the details about your private life that must be divulged.
Use a private judge
Private judges can be selected and paid for by a couple to handle their divorce – and they are commonly used in high-profile divorces where public figures want to keep their financial and personal information under wraps. (They also have the advantage of being more flexible and efficient than the public court system.)
Ask the court to seal some or all of the records
In some situations, it may be possible to have the court limit public access to your divorce records or “seal” them. Generally speaking, you have to have a compelling reason to get the court to take that step, but issues related to one party’s physical safety or a child’s best interests can be enough to do it.
If you’re worried about your privacy during (and after) your divorce, it’s wise to raise these concerns early on when you seek legal guidance.