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How can I keep my high-asset divorce private?

For many couples undergoing a high-asset divorce, maintaining privacy is a very important matter. Often, when there are significant assets at stake in the divorce negotiations, it can suddenly become an issue of public interest, which is usually an unwelcome addition to any divorce. If you hope to maintain your privacy throughout your high-asset divorce, you must make it a priority as soon as possible.

One of the simplest ways to maintain privacy during divorce is through divorce mediation. Mediation sessions are generally confidential, unlike court records. If you and your spouse can agree to work through the many complex issues at hand in a mediation setting, then you can keep most of your divorce out of the courtroom and therefore out of the public eye.

However, high-asset divorces may not fare well in mediation. Maintaining trust between spouses is a crucial component in any mediation process, and high-asset divorces often make maintaining trust very difficult because of the assets at stake.

Another option you may consider is requesting that the court seal certain documents, if you have to take the divorce to the courtroom. Court appearances during a divorce are generally classified as public records, but a court may be willing to seal some of the records if you make a compelling case for doing so. Sealing records requires defining a specific set of issues you wish to keep confidential and requesting the court seal documents that pertain to these particular issues. This might mean sealing documents that contain sensitive business information, for instance.

If you hope to have records sealed, be sure that your legal counsel understands this as they build your divorce strategy. With proper preparation, an attorney can protect your privacy as well as your other rights and interests throughout the divorce.

Source: Findlaw, "Divorce Records and Privacy," accessed Oct. 06, 2017

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