A Divorce can be a Very Public Event
Hearings and trials are open to the public–anyone can come in and watch.
Almost everyone has an interest in keeping some information out of the public eye. Details about people’s personal lives, habits, health and relationships are generally considered not to be for publication. Likewise, business executives and professionals do not want friends, relatives or competitors to know details about their business or profession. The threat of publicity can become a coercive weapon.
In addition to hearings in court, motions (some with affidavits alleging bad behavior attached), pleadings, lists of assets, and sworn statements are all filed with the court clerk. Even with recent rules that limit the general public’s access to those records, there is always a danger that those documents will make their way into the public eye.
Collaborative Divorce is Private
Protecting privacy is one of the most important advantages of Collaborative Divorce. Minimal paperwork is filed with the court, and the papers that are filed generally contain no facts specific to the people involved in the case. The only time anyone appears in court in a Collaborative Divorce case is to present the Agreed Final Decree for the judge’s approval and signature in a short hearing that usually takes less than five minutes.