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Resolving disputes creatively

Privacy in high-asset divorce cases is essential and important

The proceedings of celebrity divorces are always in the spotlight. When a famous New York couple has a confidential meeting with a judge, news of that meeting immediately hits the headlines. In order for proceedings to remain fair, it is imperative to keep information private in a high-asset divorce case.

Any divorce takes a heavy toll with a paradigm shift in emotional, financial, and logistical matters. Disputes between couples are common and perhaps the only thing that a warring couple would agree on is that divorce is even harder on their children, who need to be protected from the ugliness of the proceedings. Keeping high-asset divorce cases confidential tries to protect the future generation from the muck and many rich and famous couples prefer a quiet settlement rather than a public trial, simply because of privacy concerns.

All too often, however, estranged spouses of any economic bracket who are engaged in a war of words forget that they need to protect their children from the ugliness of divorce proceedings. And celebrities are no exception. They may say that they are protecting their children from the spotlight, but if a celebrity couple fights it out in court, their public dispute can cause equal damage to their children.

Many U.S. states, including New York, provide limited access to litigants, creating a false sense of security for divorcing spouses. A secondary news market thrives on information about high-profile families leaking to the public. It is common knowledge that whatever is said in open court is recorded by the court clerk and some judges will facilitate backroom discussions that are not recorded so that disputes can be settled more easily and privately. Even in these cases, though, hearings are considered public and anyone can attend.

Source: Forbes, "Protecting Privacy In A Divorce," Russ Alan Prince, accessed Dec.9, 2014

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