No matter how messy your divorce gets, no one needs to know about it except you, your soon-to-be-ex spouse, and your respective attorneys. With the right steps and actions, you can keep your divorce under wraps until you decide you want others to know. Keeping the legal process private can avoid unnecessary stress on your family, protect your reputation in the community, and put you in charge of how and when your kids find out. Follow these steps for a “secret” divorce in San Diego.
Only Talk to Professionals
Don’t talk about your marital problems or decision to divorce in public places if you want to keep it private. Don’t say the “D” word in front of kids, strangers, or coworkers – anyone who could spread the news to others. Choose only a few trusted confidants to talk to, such as friends and family you know won’t discuss it with others until you’re ready to go public.
Keeping your divorce quiet doesn’t have to mean holding in your emotions. If you want a truly private divorce, only speak to paid professionals about what’s going on. Go to a professional therapist to talk about what you’re going through and discuss the legal details of your split with your attorney. Talking only to professionals can keep your divorce case completely private.
Therapists, doctors, attorneys, and other such professionals have a legal obligation to keep your business quiet. Becoming a patient or client gives you the privilege of privacy. You never have to worry about your therapist or lawyer spreading the news of your divorce. If this does happen, you have the legal right to file a breach of contract claim against the professional for damages.
Keep Up Your Normal Routines
The other way people may find out about your divorce is by noticing changes in your life. Your spouse moving out of the house, for example, could stir up gossip in the neighborhood about your decision to dissolve the marriage. If you want a private divorce, try to maintain your typical routines at home and at work.
If you have kids at home, keeping your routine is even more important if you don’t want them to know about the divorce yet. Continue living in the same house as your spouse, even if you sleep in different rooms or beds. Go to work like normal, continue exchanging parenting duties, show up to parent-teacher conferences together, etc. so no one suspects an impending divorce.
Settle Without Going to Trial
Uncontested divorces where both parties come together and compromise on the terms of the settlement during mediation are the smoothest, quietest splits. These divorce cases are private, with no one but the parties involved and the third-party mediator wise to the situation. If you and your spouse can’t agree on the terms of a divorce on your own, however, your case will have to go to trial. Family court trials are matters of the public, with court reporters allowed. Do your best to settle your divorce case during mediation for maximum privacy.
Sign a Confidentiality Clause
During legal proceedings, request to add a confidentiality clause to your official divorce papers. These can help you achieve a higher level of privacy than a typical legal case. For example, it can bar your spouse from discussing the divorce with anyone else – even friends or extended family. If your spouse violates a confidentiality clause, he or she will have to pay you punitive damages. In particularly messy divorces, confidentiality clauses can ensure private details don’t leave the courtroom.
Ask your lawyer for more tips on keeping your San Diego divorce case private. Working with a trusted attorney can give you peace of mind while navigating a secret, private, or high-stakes divorce case.