Divorce invariably requires parties to divulge sensitive documents and information to resolve issues in the divorce case. While much of the information provided in a divorce proceeding is used to establish each parties income as well as assets and liabilities subject to marital property division, it can also include periphery information about the inner workings of a small business or be very personal in nature.
A “general rule of thumb when it comes to confidentiality agreements is that any information that is not publicly accessible or accessible to a spouse before divorce” should not be accessible simply because you are divorcing.
Take for example if you own a small business – private business information regarding the companies financials or who your clients are, should not be publicly shared, and therefore, a confidentially agreement may be in order. If you and a spouse ran a business together during the marriage, a confidentially agreement may be compel an ex-spouse to keep confidential not only business practices, but any inside scoop on research, development, inventions, or products and may go so far to protect you against details regarding the divorce settlement or the disclosure of intimate details that could negatively impact your business or give you a black eye in the public sphere.
Confidentially agreements in a divorce will identify what documents containing sensitive information are to be labeled confidential and who is allowed to view them such as each party’s attorney, the court where the divorce action is pending, or others directly involved in the case. The agreement will establish the consequences for breaching the agreement – sharing with friends, family, or on social media included – which may include financial penalties. Instructions on how documents will be treated when submitted to court, how to dispose of any confidential documents when the divorce case is finalized, and how to documents should be protected under other circumstances should be part of any agreement – certainly an ex-spouse should not have access to or make use of confidential information after a case is finalized.
If you are considering divorce, have questions on how to keep your divorce confidential or other concerns regarding the protection of your business or personal information, contact the Lake county Family Law Offices of Ronald L Bell & Associates PC for more information at 847-495-6000.