Divorcing couples may wonder if they can keep the details of their divorce private, particularly if they are public figures or have a high net worth. Unfortunately, these days, there is no end to the parade of individuals, news agencies, and bloggers that are interested in publicizing sensitive details of a high profile divorce, leaving the parties involved and their families vulnerable to public scrutiny and more. Fortunately, if you are worried about the public airing of your private affairs, there are strategies to employ to keep the dissolution of your marriage private, which include asking the court to file all or some of the divorce documents under seal or reaching a settlement before your case goes to trial.
Sealing Illinois Divorce Documents
As a rule, divorce proceedings are public records so anyone can look at them without so much as paying a fee. If you do nothing to protect your privacy, the complaint, motions and discovery documents are fair game to anyone who requests the case file, even if their intentions are not so honorable. This is where sealing the divorce documents comes in. With the help of an experienced Illinois divorce lawyer, you can ask the court to seal the divorce documents so that they are unavailable to the public. Because the judge has discretion in granting such a request, it is important that your attorney presents a strong argument as to why it is necessary, keeping in mind that the approval of partially sealed documents often trumps requests to seal the full record.
Of course, your attorney may be able to reach a favorable settlement before a divorce ever goes to trial, which can provide an element of privacy in itself. Details included in divorce settlement agreements such as the division of marital property, parenting time and responsibilities, child support, and alimony can be omitted from the final divorce decree if it is incorporated in the the order by reference. Your attorney can request that the settlement agreement is kept separate, providing you and your family a measure of privacy during this difficult time.
Illinois High Net Worth Divorce Attorney
Most people would rather not have their divorce laundry hanging out in public and, fortunately, there are a few strategies to employ to keep your private life private. Contact Illinois divorce attorney Ronald L Bell & Associates PC for immediate assistance regarding privacy matters in a divorce, high net worth complex divorce, marital property division, child support and custody matters, spousal maintenance or other family law matters at 847-495-6000.