The reasons for ending a marriage are deeply personal, and often deeply painful, and yet if a divorce goes through the courts, it will be at least partly public record. There are good reasons for the public record in general; a good judicial system operates with transparency. However, sometimes people going through a divorce do not want their personal and financial information to be in court records where anyone can read them. This can be particularly important in cases where the marital property includes ownership of a business, or where the divorcing parties attract a lot of public attention because they are wealthy or famous.
Settling a divorce out of court can help avoid this problem. Once the parties reach an agreement, they will have to seek an order from the court, but they can usually keep their most sensitive information out of the public’s eye.
Some people going through a divorce go through an extra step and include a confidentiality agreement as part of of their divorce settlement. A divorce agreement is a contract, and just as many employment contracts include provisions about privacy, a divorce settlement can include provisions that require the parties to not divulge some sensitive information about the other.
Most people going through a divorce don’t have to worry about gossip journalists or industrial espionage agents going through their records, but many people are uncomfortable about their private information being public, or worried about unscrupulous people accessing their financial information. It can be a good idea for everyone going through a divorce to ask a lawyer about how to protect their privacy in divorce.