Protecting Your Privacy Rights During Your Divorce in New Jersey

Divorce Privacy Divorce is a private matter that many families desire to keep among themselves to limit those from gossiping about the news, or merely to protect loved ones from the emotional turmoil.  Technically, divorces in New Jersey are public records but are not as easy to find and search as you would think.  Someone has to be searching for you and would have to go to the Courthouse or have an online account to find the case information.

How to Maintain Confidentiality

There are a few effective ways to protect your family’s privacy during a divorce. As mentioned, the fact of a divorce is ultimately a matter of public record in most cases, but not all. The following tips, however, can significantly reduce the intrusion into your private affairs. Keep in mind, however, that you should closely consult with an experienced divorce attorney about protecting your privacy tolook after your best interests..

1. Keep Your Divorce out of Court

Divorce proceedings are public record, but only when they pass through the courts. New Jersey law allows divorcing couples to exit their marriage in other ways outside of the court using alternative dispute resolution methods. For example, a couple may use private mediation or arbitration to work through their divorce issues. Since mediation and arbitration sessions are organized on a private basis, they are closed to the public and couples can enjoy extensive privacy protections by choosing one of these alternatives.
Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers fights hard for your interests and rights during divorce.

2. Stipulate to Confidentiality: Non-Disclosure Agreements and Prenuptial Agreements

Whether a couple chooses to use the courts or not, both can agree to self-imposed gag orders in a stipulation to confidentiality. The parties can have a written non-disclosure (NDA) agreement drawn up that specifically covers actions that should be prohibited in order to keep the divorce private, such as:
  • Sharing information about the divorce or either spouse’s personal or financial circumstances on social media;
  • Talking to neighbors, friends, and family about the divorce; and
  • Issuing press releases or making other public statements concerning the divorce.
NDA agreements can be drafted when couples decide to seek a divorce. These agreements to remain silent may also appear in prenuptial agreements. You can also ask the Court to codify the NDA into a Court Order but you should have good reason to make that request (i.e. Celebrity status, business interference concerns, etc.). Whether you are dealing with a prenuptial or a divorce, you have important interests at stake. An experienced divorce attorney can help ensure that these interests are protected in any agreement you ultimately enter into. Your privacy concerns matter. Protections can help keep your affairs out of the public. Contact Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers (MFR) to discuss your concerns and learn how we can help. Call (201) 880-9770 today.

3. Talk to Your Children

Depending on their age, children have varying levels of understanding of divorce. As individuals affected by divorce proceedings, children should be included at a level appropriate to their level of maturity. They should also be spoken to about privacy. Children historically do not understand the nuances of privacy and the importance of keeping certain intimate family information private. Many also lack the maturity, and hence, the discretion necessary to communicate or withhold sensitive information. However, they can learn when and what to say when you communicate with them about boundaries. Like many of our clients, you may choose to have a discussion with your children about the importance of maintaining your family’s privacy. If your children understand not only that you want them to help maintain the family’s privacy but also why maintaining privacy is important, they may be more open to limiting their discussions with teachers and friends. Furthermore, talking to your children will help stabilize and prepare them for the separation. In turn, they will cope better and exhibit fewer behavioral, emotional, or psychological reactions to divorce. Ignoring them or giving them scant information about the divorce, on the other hand, will likely lead to public displays of bottled-up familial distress that will be noticed by the friends and professionals in their lives.

4. Seek a Protective Order to File Under Seal

Finally, if your divorce is headed for litigation, you can explore the option of having both parties file under seal. Records filed under seal are “for the court’s eyes only,” and they are not made available to members of the public. Even when spouses are at odds regarding the terms of their divorce, they will often be able to agree on seeking a protective order so that they can submit their filings under seal. However, New Jersey law affords much weight to the public’s right to access public records. Judges will seal a record only if there is sufficient evidence of good cause. They will defer to the rebuttable presumption against their sealing without proper proof. Additionally, New Jersey courts are more likely to seal just portions of a record related to the good cause reason rather than the entire record just because.

Speak With a New Jersey Divorce Lawyer from MFR Today

Men’s and Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers is a divorce and family law firm with offices in Bergen County, Hackensack, NJ. Our attorneys bring decades of combined legal experience to representing spouses in complex and high-net-worth divorces throughout New Jersey. If protecting your privacy is important to you, we can help you explore your options and execute a strategy to protect your personal and financial information as much as possible.
Contact MFR to discuss your concerns about privacy and any other divorce or family-law-related matters. We are here to listen and find effective solutions to your legal problems. Call (201) 880-9770 today.

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