If you have ever seen a heated divorce that ends up getting the attention of the media, it can almost seem invasive the amount of information that ends up getting out to the public. When you are getting closer to your divorce, you might be worried that some of your private information will end up being made public, as well. Keeping your divorce private doesn’t just benefit you, but it helps your entire family.
Although most people will probably not be interested in delving into your divorce case, this doesn’t mean that you want people to have access to it. There could be a lot of private information that you don’t want to get out, or that you or your ex might find embarrassing.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to try to keep information about your divorce private.
File a Motion to Seal the Case
One of the first things you have to realize about divorce court records is that the information is available to the public. This means that anyone who might be interested in learning more about your divorce can technically access that information with very little work on their part.
Fortunately, you can request that your divorce records be sealed. However, it’s not always as simple as asking for it to be sealed. Typically, both parties need to agree to seal the case, and they will need to have a valid reason to do this.
It is still worth pursuing if you have a case that’s going to go into litigation, though. A lot of times, the courts will agree. Talk with your attorney and have them request that it be sealed. They can let you know whether you are likely to get your divorce records sealed.
Often, those who have high-asset divorces will request this. The same is true if there are certain details, such as financial information, they worry about getting out and into the public.
Consider Mediation and Settling
Of course, one of the best ways to ensure that your court records don’t have any embarrassing information is to not go to court in the first place. Just because you are getting a divorce doesn’t mean that it has to go all the way to court in front of a judge.
To be honest, most divorces don’t. Instead, they end up settling out of court using strategies like mediation and negotiation. The couple works toward an agreement where they settle all of the outstanding facets of their divorce. This could be putting together a parenting plan, splitting assets, dividing debt, etc.
Often, couples can agree on all of these things. They settle and the court agrees to their settlement without needing to go through litigation. It’s simple, and it keeps things out of court and the public eye.
Of course, not everyone can get to this point where they can agree with their spouse. They might not believe that their spouse should get what they are requesting, or they might simply want to make life more difficult. Regardless, those cases will generally need to go to court.
At that point, though, it will be the judge that decides what happens. It also means that a lot of dirty laundry might get mentioned, which is what you want to keep out of the public eye. Therefore, trying to find common ground to settle is the best decision.
Stay Off Social Media
As much as people might love social media, it has the potential to be a major problem. People get onto those sites and feel as though they need to document everything that is happening in their lives—the good and the bad. Whether you think you are just talking with a few friends or you are out talking to the entire world, there is a chance that you might end up writing and posting something you regret.
It might seem innocent enough, but it could lead to people asking questions, making assumptions, and trying to figure out what’s going on in your personal life. If you really want to keep your private information private be careful with social media.
Keep Passwords and Documents Safe from Your Spouse
If you have passwords to your private accounts, such as social media, online stores, your bank, etc., it is time to change them. You don’t want your ex getting into your private information, which they might then leak because they are upset with you.
For example, they might believe that you were unfaithful even though you weren’t and then dig through your email and Facebook trying to find “evidence”. They might then copy a picture of you and a coworker and claim that you were having an affair, posting it for all the world to see. They might even try to impersonate you through your various accounts.
Keep Your Lips Sealed
As much as you want to talk about your divorce and how much you are through with your ex, you have to be careful. You want to keep your information private, so you have to be careful about just what you are sharing with others.
Even though you trust your friends and family you talk to, they might repeat what you say without realizing they are doing something wrong. This could end up getting back to your ex or to others who don’t need to know all of the dirty details of your divorce.
Always think through what you should and shouldn’t say, and make sure you err on the side of caution here. Of course, if you have kids, they might also say things that you don’t want to get out. They often don’t know any better, so make sure you are patient with them. Countless parents have come to school to pick up their kids only to find out that the teaching staff knows all about their divorce.
Some Will Get Out
You will find that it’s likely that at least some information about your divorce will eventually get out there. Maybe you say something, or your ex does. It happens, and it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. However, by following the simple tips above, it can help to ensure that as little as possible gets out by keeping your divorce private.