A heated divorce can spread like wildfire through office and neighborhood gossip. Moreover, the more your personal issues are aired in a divorce, the more likely your spouse can use them against you.
For these reasons, you likely want to retain some semblance of privacy in your divorce. You can do so by being careful about social media use, seeking mediation and sealing your divorce records.
You want to be careful what you post on social media before your divorce is finalized.
It is tempting to vent about your spouse on social media or to post pictures and stories about your new purchases, adventures and romantic relationships as a soon-to-be-single individual.
Still, doing so can come back to haunt you. New purchases and expensive vacations can be indications that you are wasting marital assets, which could be used against you in the property division process. A new romantic relationship can affect what you are awarded in alimony, especially if you cohabitate with your new partner.
For these reasons, many people in California choose to take a social media break until after their divorce is finalized.
Mediation is another way to protect your privacy in a divorce.
If you go through the traditional litigation process, your entire divorce proceedings will be part of the public record. They can be viewed by anyone looking them up.
Mediation is generally a private affair. If you and your spouse can mediate your divorce issues and reach a written settlement agreement before either of you file for divorce, the only records retained by the court as part of the public record are your filing papers and the written settlement agreement, which can be drafted to conceal sensitive information.
Finally, you or your former spouse can move the court to put your divorce under seal. Part or all of your records may be sealed. Sealed records cannot be viewed by the public.
However, the court will weigh whether the potential harm you could experience if the records are not sealed outweighs the importance of public access to court records. Embarrassment alone may not be enough to seal records.
Privacy is important
Privacy is important in your divorce, both for your mental well-being, your reputation in your community and to ensure the outcome of the divorce is fair. Though careful planning and prudent actions you can protect your privacy during the divorce process and afterwards.