When you file for divorce, do you have to worry that your family’s financial records and “dirty laundry” will be aired in public? This is a common concern among spouses contemplating divorce, and one that is worthy of consideration when preparing to go through the divorce process.

Fortunately, while some divorces end up being public affairs, the vast majority of couples are able to resolve their divorces using non-adversarial methods. If you and your spouse are able to come to terms without going to court, you will be able to protect much (if not all) of your family’s private information during your divorce.

How Can Spouses Maintain Privacy During the Divorce Process?

While the greatest risk for your family and financial information to be made public comes from your divorce ending up in litigation (as a general rule, court records – including divorce filings – are open to the public in Texas), there are certain other practical risks to take into consideration as well. If privacy is among your top priorities, here are four tips to keep in mind:

1. Thoroughly Consider the Alternatives to Divorce Litigation

Since litigation is typically the greatest threat to privacy in a divorce, it is important to thorough consider the alternatives that are available. As we mentioned, most divorces do not end up in litigation. Instead, most couples negotiate the terms of their divorce or use tools like mediation and the collaborative method to reach amicable divorce settlements out of court.

2. Discuss the Importance of Privacy with Your Children

Children often harbor more information than their parents realize; and, when struggling to cope with a divorce, it is natural for kids to seek comfort with friends, teachers and other family members. While you want to make sure your children feel comfortable seeking emotional support, you can also let them know that maintaining your family’s privacy is important. Your children may not fully grasp the value of privacy (and the types of information that should be kept private) until you help them understand.

3. Enter into an Agreement with Your Spouse

During the divorce process, it is fairly common for spouses to agree to maintain confidentiality. In most cases, this is in both spouses’ best interests, as neither wants his or her personal affairs to be shared among coworkers or spread on social media.

4. Seek to Submit Sensitive Court Filings Under Seal or Subject to Confidentiality

In Texas, there are a variety of options available for protecting the privacy of sensitive information contained in court filings. Depending upon the circumstances, a divorcing spouse may be able to file under seal, obtain a protective order, or designate information as “confidential” or “restricted.” If you need to file any private information with the divorce court, you should be sure to discuss your options with your attorney.

Nordhaus Walpole, PLLC | Family Lawyers in McKinney, TX

If you are contemplating a divorce and would like more information about how you can protect your privacy during the process, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation. To speak with a family lawyer at our McKinney, TX law offices in confidence, please call (214) 726-1450 or request an appointment online today.