Client Privacy and Confidentiality Through the Collaborative Divorce Process

Divorce: Keeping it Private

There are many benefits to a Collaborative Divorce particularly when compared to the traditional litigated divorce. Privacy and confidentially are examples of how collaboration is in the best interest of the couple and of their children.

What is Public Information in a Traditional Divorce Case?

  1. Disclosure of income. In a litigated divorce, documents regarding your financial information is routinely filed with the court. This includes information regarding your finances including evidence of your:
  • Income.
  • Expenses.
  • Debts.
  • Tax returns.
  • Pay stubs.

This ALL becomes part of the public record. Anyone can go to the courthouse, order your file, and review all documents. They can generally ask for a copy of documents or take a photo of the document themselves.

  1. Information about your children. This information is also part of the public record on file as part of your divorce. Anyone can find out how you share time with your children and what arrangements you have made for co-parenting, and what controversies have arisen over co-parenting issues that need to be resolved by the court. This may also be accessed later in life by your children if they go to the courthouse and pull the file.

Privacy and Confidentiality in a Collaborative Divorce

The Collaborative Divorce Process takes a different approach. The privacy of each spouse is protected, and documents are not filed in court that detail financial information or the co-parenting arrangements. The information is kept between the Collaborative Divorce team and the divorcing spouses.

Collaboration focuses on respect and treating each other in a professional manner. We approach this in a business-like setting that fosters that type of communication between the soon-to-be ex-spouses.

The Collaborative Divorce team includes a financial expert as well as mental health professionals who focus on working as a team with the parties. We work with complete transparency and schedule our meetings to accommodate all participants. We lay out an agenda for each meeting, so no one feels ambushed during that meeting. We lead the parties through the process in a structured manner that helps the spouses feel supported and not attacked. The parties make their own decisions with guidance, education and support provided from the Collaborative Divorce team.

Litigation is an adversarial process that pits the parties against each other. This creates a lot of animosity, hatred, and fuels the fire of discontent. While in a Collaborative Divorce, the parties focus on the shared values they have for their future and their children. The process creates a settlement that will be in the best interests of their family.

This blog was originally posted on the Collaborative Divorce California website:

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