How Can My Divorce Be Kept Private?

Privacy in Divorce

If privacy and confidentiality is important to you, a collaborative divorce might be the best choice for you and your spouse.

Divorce in a courthouse setting can be very public.  There may be multiple times you are required to appear in a courthouse in the county you live in and there is always a possibility you may run in to acquaintances friends, business associates or business competitors who you would prefer not to know you are going through a divorce.  If there are contested hearings, you or your spouse may be called to testify in open court on the stand regarding the ups and down of your married life.

There may be testimony regarding one party’s business and how that business is conducted, the worth of that business, etc.   In other words, you may be required to discuss very private aspects of a business or air your personal dirty laundry in a very public venue.  For some, the thought of this kind of public disclosure can cause a lot of stress and anxiety.  Some feel it is more than they can emotionally bear.

The Collaborative Divorce process is beneficial for privacy, because minimal paperwork is filed with the court.

If you are wanting to stay out of the courthouse, then Collaborative Divorce is the right choice. This includes the fact that Collin County even now allows divorces to be finalized with the court by affidavit.  

One of the realities of the traditional litigated divorce process is that you may potentially be subjected to appearing in court on  multiple occasions for contested hearings and going battling with your spouse  on issues relating to your children, your assets, to discovery disputes etc.  There are many reasons why one or both parties may want to avoid this.

  1. There is always a possibility you may run in to acquaintances friends, business associates or business competitors who you would prefer not to know you are going through a divorce.   
  2. You or your spouse may be called to testify in open court on the witness stand regarding the ups and down of your married life.  You may be required to discuss very private aspects of your married life and air your personal dirty laundry in a very public venue.  
  3. There may be testimony regarding one party’s business and how that business is conducted, the worth of that business, etc. You may be required to discuss very private aspects of a business that you would prefer others not know. 

In a Collaborative Divorce proceeding, the parties pledge up front that they will in good faith attempt reach agreements without seeking court intervention. In a collaborative divorce, parties meet outside the courthouse with their collaborative attorneys and their neutral professionals with the goal of reaching an amicable resolution without the need for court intervention.

Collaborative Divorce negotiations/meetings are conducted outside the courthouse in private settings with the parties, their attorneys as well as the financial neutral and the mental health neutral. 

This eliminates the need for hearings, filings of pleadings and formal discovery.  Decision-making rests with the parties not a judge and they decide when and where to negotiate. Disputes are resolved based on fully disclosed information in the transparent process.

Because all parties, lawyers, and neutral professionals pledge not to go to court, the team ensures a safe platform for full-disclosure discussions and negotiations between parties. This is solidified by your attorney’s agreement to withdraw from further representation if a settlement cannot be reached or one of the parties opts out of the collaborative process. This eliminates the risk that information can be used against you if the dispute must go to court.

If a collaborative resolution is reached by the parties, generally only one appearance is required to conclude the divorce. 

In some counties, including Collin County, the Courts are now allowing a divorce to be finalized by affidavit rather than a court appearance.  If you happen to be in one of these counties, then you may never have to step foot in the Court during your divorce proceedings.

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