Retaining Your Privacy Through Collaborative Divorce
Going through a divorce is not always a private process. In fact, couples who file for divorce in court can expect that the complete record of those proceedings will be a matter of public record. This means that a significant amount of financial and personal information will theoretically be available to the public. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your divorce private, so if you and your spouse have decided to separate, you should speak with an experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer who can walk you through your legal options.
Collaborative divorce is one of the few ways that a couple can keep their divorce proceedings private. Couples who choose this method have separate lawyers who are there to help the parties reach an out-of-court agreement. All negotiations that take place during collaborative divorce are typically held in private conference rooms or on secure video conferencing platforms. These conversations are considered privileged, which means that the things said and communicated during negotiations cannot be used by either party against the other in court. This privilege extends to the lawyers themselves, as Florida law actually prohibits couples from using the same lawyers if they are unable to reach an agreement and decide to litigate their case in court. In these situations, both parties will need to retain new attorneys before engaging in any public divorce hearings.
Not only does this give couples the privacy they are looking for, but also the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they can speak their mind and consider creative solutions without going on the public record.
Privacy in Court Proceedings
In most collaborative divorce cases, nothing will be filed with the court until the parties have actually reached a resolution on all divorce-related issues like alimony, property division, and child custody. Even once a couple has reached this point, the type and amount of information that gets filed with the court can be minimized. For example, although divorcing couples will be required to disclose all of their assets to each other through the completion of a financial affidavit, that affidavit can be redacted when it becomes a court record, allowing the information to remain somewhat confidential. This option is typically not available to those who litigate their divorces.
Sealing Your Divorce Record
Couples who are unable to resolve their divorce through negotiation will need to litigate related issues in court. In these cases, it will be extremely difficult to keep all of a couple’s divorce proceedings out of the public record, although in some situations, judges are willing to seal particularly sensitive records. It should be noted, however, that this is not a standard practice and usually only applies to mental health records or documentation related to abuse.
Are You Worried About Privacy During Divorce?
If you want to learn more about the collaborative divorce process and how these proceedings could keep your own legal matters private, please call experienced Florida divorce lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591. A member of our legal team is standing by to begin working on your case.