If you're like many people on the verge of beginning divorce proceedings, you're probably experiencing a mixture of sadness, fear, and excitement, and all of these feelings are perfectly normal. You're sad for the loss of what was once a good relationship, fearful for the future because it brings unknown elements, and excited because of the possibility of new adventures. You might also be concerned about gossip concerning your situation and how it may affect your children — or perhaps you're just the type of person who prefers privacy in all matters. Whatever the reason, there are steps that you can take that will help ensure optimal privacy. The following are four of them.
Be Discreet on Social Media
Even if you have your social media settings on private and only interact with close friends and family members on online venues such as Facebook, it's nonetheless advised that you keep online discussions to a minimum — just state the facts if you say anything at all. Information has a way of slipping out of social media pages, no matter what settings the user has specified. One of your friends or relatives, for instance, may share a computer with others in the family and forget to log out of social media when their session is over, leaving your pages visible to a number of other people. Even if your divorce is fairly amicable, the temptation to vent on social media is a hard one to resist — but later on, you'll be glad you did.
See a Counselor
Talking with a trained counselor on a regular basis helps circumvent the temptation to vent to friends and family about the frustrations you're experiencing, and this helps keep your personal matters private. Be sure to get someone who's experienced in divorce therapy, however, rather than a rookie. You probably already know that a good venting session can help dial down the stress significantly, and it's even more effective when you do so with an experienced therapist who knows how to help you navigate through the issues that are creating the stress in the first place.
Use a Mediation Service
A few jurisdictions require mediation as a condition of divorce, but if yours doesn't, you should consider it anyway. Many people think that mediators and counselors are the same thing, but this is not the case. The role of the mediator is to help the couple work through the tangle of child custody and property division issues rather than with the emotional aspects of divorce.
Besides the obvious benefits — that you'll have skilled assistance negotiating the terms of the divorce — mediation sessions are not a matter of public record since they aren't conducted in court. The services of a competent mediator may help the divorce proceedings go more quickly, which leaves less time for wagging tongues to do their damage.
Ask the Judge to Seal Your Divorce Records
In some jurisdictions, the presiding judge has the option of sealing divorce records at his or her discretion. This prevents your divorce records from becoming a matter of public record and available for the asking to all manner of prying eyes. You'll have to make a formal request in court for the divorce records to be sealed, and the presiding judge may or may not decide in your favor. You'll have to provide solid reasons for wanting your records sealed, such as protecting potentially sensitive financial or personal information from becoming public knowledge. The services of an experienced divorce attorney can maximize your chances of success when asking that your divorce records be sealed as well as help ensure your overall privacy.
To learn more, contact a divorce lawyer in your area.