Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Looking for a Little Privacy!

Every few years, Hollywood will come out with a movie like "War of the Roses" or "Kramer vs. Kramer" that highlights the damaging effects of extremely litigated divorces. Most people have family or friends, if not personal experience, with a contested divorce, and they are familiar with how divorces can become a public spectacle. While divorces vary in the degree of animosity and fighting, even relatively agreeable cases often involve at least some public displays of very personal matters.

One way for people to try to protect their privacy is to choose Collaborative Law as the process they use for a divorce or other family law matter. If you are facing the end of a marriage and you are deciding how to proceed, you might want to consider whether you want to use a private process or go public.

Here are some reasons why some people want to protect their privacy:

1. Many people using Collaborative Law own their own business. They may have a family business or a start-up business, or there may be a small business they have nurtured with a plan for it to grow in the future. Divorce for business owners can be scary because of the possibility of disrupting or damaging the business. Owners don't normally want their competitors to be able to find out the financial details about the business and wouldn't want competitors to get aggressive while the owner is distracted by a public, litigated divorce. Keeping the divorce quiet makes good business sense.

2. Professionals facing divorce are often drawn to Collaborative Law. Doctors, lawyers,
CPAs, engineers, counselors and other professionals usually want to protect their professional image, and a messy divorce can really tarnish what had been a carefully protected image, which can hurt business.

3. Sometimes people going through a divorce don't want their neighbors to know. Not all neighbors are wonderful, but many people also wouldn't want good friends to know all about the divorce or their finances or personal habits, etc.

4. Similarly, many people wouldn't want some of their nosy relatives to know. Every family has busy-bodies and gossips. Some will have nasty relatives who are just trouble makers. In those situations, it can be really nice to do everything privately.

5. Protecting children
can be very important to some parties. Children should not be exposed to adult disagreements and should not become players in the process Kids don't need to be able to read about their parents' divorce in the paper or go to the courthouse to find contentious documents with unflattering statements about the parents. Kids will obviously know a divorce is going on, but they don't need to be privy to the gory details of the breakup.

At a time when privacy seems to be slipping away because of technology, it's nice to have a divorce option that goes against the tide and provides a process for parties to a divorce to work privately with divorce lawyers and neutral professionals in a civilized manner. Collaborative Law is the option with that opportunity.

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