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Protecting privacy in a contentious divorce

One of the worst aspects of the divorce process is that everyone gets to take a peek at your private life. One glance at court records reveals details about your finances, your family culture and your own intimate behavior, that you would rather keep to yourself.

As online electronic records become the rule, it is quite possible for complete strangers to know who said what to whom. You can ask judges to seal your divorce records, but there is no guarantee they will honor the request.

Keeping private information private

Most people, especially those who are already in the public eye, want to keep a lid on this information. It can be bad for your reputation, your business and your relationships.

In our experience, couples in divorce may agree on almost nothing - but they care very much about protecting their children from the anger and disarray caused by contention.

Anger is the enemy of divorce

Sometimes one parent is eager to "spill the beans" about their partner's deeds. It is wise, in such angry circumstances, to suggest a settlement, as opposed to trying the case in open court.

There are other ways to minimize leakage to the public in divorce. Mediated divorce is private, as is collaborative divorce. If both sides wish to have an uncontested divorce, skipping litigation and court records, our firm offers advocacy in both mediation and collaborative divorce. We are happy to explain both approaches to you.

Another option in Georgia is private judges. Your lawyer can contact a private judge to preside over the matter, out of the public eye.

The right lawyer

The most important factor in maintaining privacy in divorce remains the kind of attorney you work with. One hears gossip on TV and in magazines about celebrity divorces - movie stars, sports figures, leaders in business and politics.

A lawyer who beats his own drum speaking to the press, or leaking information to other parties, is not a good choice. The best lawyers keep this kind of information close to the vest. At the Law Offices of John A. Guthrie, we live by that rule.

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