confidenciality in divorce
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By Dorit Goikhman
Founding Attorney

Divorce is an intensely personal experience. The desire to keep the details private, especially in a state as public-facing as California, is understandable and common. With a legal landscape that often places court proceedings in the public domain, how can one ensure discretion? This guide offers insights into maintaining privacy during a California divorce.

1. Understand the Public Nature of Divorce Proceedings

By default, divorce records in California are public. This means that unless proactive steps are taken, anyone can access the basic records of your divorce, including some specifics regarding property division, child custody, and spousal support.

2. Request to Seal Records

If there’s sensitive information you wish to protect, such as details related to minor children, business valuations, or unique personal circumstances, you can ask the court to seal certain records. While not guaranteed, if the judge deems that the public’s right to access doesn’t outweigh the potential harm of disclosure, they might grant the request.

3. Opt for Mediation or Collaborative Divorce

One of the most effective ways to ensure confidentiality is to avoid court altogether. Mediation and collaborative divorce are two alternative dispute resolution methods that take place in private settings. Not only do these methods keep the details of your divorce confidential, but they often result in more amicable outcomes.

4. Limit Details in Filed Documents

While it’s essential to be truthful in all court filings, you can be strategic about the level of detail you provide. Discuss with your attorney about maintaining necessary information without overly divulging personal specifics.

5. Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)

In some high-profile or high net worth divorces, parties might agree to sign NDAs. This legally binds them from discussing or sharing information about the divorce with external parties.

6. Be Cautious with Digital and Social Footprints

In today’s digital age, it’s not just official records that spill secrets. Be cautious about discussing your divorce on social media, via email, or any other online platform. Ensure your settings are private, and be wary of shared mutual connections that might disclose information.

7. Hire a Lawyer Skilled in Confidential Divorces

If privacy is a paramount concern, invest in an attorney well-versed in managing discreet divorces in California. Their expertise can guide the process, ensuring that each step prioritizes confidentiality.

In Conclusion: Navigating the Balance Between Legal Procedure and Privacy Divorce in California, with its default public setting, might seem daunting for those wishing to keep the process private. However, with the right strategies and expert guidance, it’s entirely possible to navigate the separation with discretion. Remember, the focus is to protect your personal journey, even when traversing a public legal landscape.

About the Author
Dorit L. Goikhman is a licensed attorney, with years of experience representing clients throughout Central California in business, real estate, and family matters. After witnessing numerous clients spend fortunes and waste years of their lives in litigation, Dorit became interested in mediation and all that it has to offer. Dorit is committed in helping parties work together to obtain a mutually acceptable solution to their disputes at a fair price. Her approach is to keep things simple, confidential, and efficient with the goal of preserving the parties’ assets, reputations, and sanity. If you have any questions regarding this blog, you can contact Dorit here.