For any high-profile, well-known couple, divorce can be an extremely stressful and embarrassing event to navigate. It can become difficult to trust anyone. Where there are children involved, protecting their emotional well-being and shielding them from any public scrutiny becomes a top priority. All of the emotional strain coupled with the stress of dividing high-value assets does not have to be handled alone.
A couple who owns businesses or is known to have a high net worth could potentially suffer damage if certain documents were made available to the public. While divorce matters are always public record, a court does possess the ability to order it to be filed under seal. Sometimes, a judge will order only potentially harmful documents such as financial reports or proprietary information belonging to the business to be sealed. This means that other documents, such as a settlement agreement, would still be available for public viewing.
Gaining a court order to seal divorce documents is no easy feat. Judges are often quite leery of sealing entire cases. There must be a substantial reason for the request, and a party is not likely to succeed in such without an experienced attorney. Further, the request to seal a case must be mutual among both parties. Some generally acceptable reasons for this type of request would be to protect the identity of children, protect victims of abuse or, as mentioned earlier, protect proprietary business information. However, it is the duty of the requesting parties to show that potential damage from open records would outweigh any benefit to the public in viewing them.
In closing, a high-profile divorce can be carried out privately and under seal in certain circumstances. An experienced divorce attorney will be knowledgeable in ways to avoid public scrutiny and help the parties move on with dignity and hope.
Tags: High Asset Divorce
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