For those who want to avoid the public eye — and you don’t have to be a celebrity to want that — a collaborative divorce might be your best option for a private divorce.
We ran across a recent article in the Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota blog titled “Divorce in the Public Eye.” It started with an acknowledgment of celebrity divorce, before moving into local public figures like “our children’s teachers, our mayors, [and our] city councilmen,” as well as discussion about a current University of Minnesota study, on the effects of a divorce on one’s career.
The author observed that her teacher’s Facebook page had changed from a married name to a maiden name, and she wrote, “Admittedly my first thought was how a divorce might affect her teaching abilities for MY child. Selfish? Perhaps. Or are those type of reactions expected with public careers? Her private life is certainly none of my business, but is it easy to check your feelings at the door? Certainly not.”
That’s just one illustration of how someone perceives divorce, and its emotional impact, without knowing any of the details. Imagine if the divorce were public, fought in a courtroom, and the details found their way into gossip.
One of the greatest advantages of a collaborative divorce is the ability to keep the details private. There’s no airing of dirty laundry in a courtroom. There’s no painful public recounting of how and why the marriage failed in order to sway a judge one way or the other. In a collaborative divorce, two people (with the help of their lawyers) meet in an office and work out a divorce settlement. The details of what happened don’t figure in to the process; instead, each person comes to the process determining what’s important to him or her, and they discuss how best to achieve that.
And it’s important to note that it’s with the help of the lawyers. In court, each side is trying to win, and it sets up an adversarial relationship between the people getting divorced. If they’re co-parenting children, or if they merely want to be civil to one another, a courtroom battle makes that difficult — especially if hurtful or embarrassing details make their way into the public proceedings.
You don’t have to be a celebrity to want privacy in your divorce. Everyone deserves a private divorce. And with collaborative divorce, anyone who wants it can have it.