This Week’s Blog by Carole T. Orland, a Westport and Greenwich attorney at Broder Orland Murray & DeMattie LLC.
Commonly asked questions for discreet divorces
- Are divorce records public?
Generally, yes. However, experienced divorce attorneys in Westport, Greenwich, and other Fairfield County locations know how to limit public exposure by negotiating a divorce agreement prior to filing an action. Once the agreement is finalized, it may be possible to file the action and get divorced the same day!
- What is the advantage of handling a divorce in a discreet manner?
Most importantly, it protects the children from conflict and/or embarrassment. It also protects the parties from scrutiny or disclosures of personal information.
- Can wealth and fame be protected in a discreet manner?
Yes. High asset and/or celebrity divorces can be handled in a discreet manner, without public disclosure of sensitive or proprietary information. It is an effective way of protecting one’s career and reputation.
- Do both parties have to agree to handle their divorce in this manner?
Yes. Without such an agreement or understanding between the parties, one spouse or the other could file for divorce and litigate the case, which then becomes public. Divorce files are available to anyone who wants to see them and courtrooms are generally open to the public, meaning your divorce could be on display to the public.
- Will handling a divorce discreetly result in lower attorneys’ fees?
Most often, yes! Litigation typically drives up costs. That’s not to say that a discreet divorce is always inexpensive. There may be complicated assets which could require valuations such as interests in private equity, hedge funds, venture capital funds, closely held businesses, start-up companies, stock options, and restricted stock. These interests may require special expertise and time to sort out but the cost will be considerably less than sorting this out through protracted litigation.
- How can the parties assist in a discreet divorce?
It will be important to get all your ducks in a row as expeditiously and efficiently as possible. Prepare a spreadsheet of all assets and liabilities, regardless of whose name they are titled in.
Discuss between you and your spouse what your goals and objectives are with regard to the division of assets. With your attorney, determine if spousal support will be an element of your divorce agreement.
- How should you handle children’s issues?
Make your Parenting Plan a priority. Be realistic about what is in the best interests of your children and the times each parent can be available to have them. If necessary, utilize professionals such as therapists or social workers to arrive at the best plan. Have it ready to go as soon as possible so you can then turn your attention to financial matters.
At Broder Orland Murray & DeMattie LLC we are very experienced in handling divorces in a discreet manner. While often these cases involve extreme wealth or celebrity status, the principle can apply to any parties who want to shield their personal lives from the public. Done properly, it is an efficient and generally more cost effective way to get divorced. And of course, it is more civil as well!