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Keeping divorce details private is possible

When two divorcing spouses have few assets and resources, if their split is acrimonious for other reasons, it is relatively easy to legally divide the spoils.

That cannot be said for high asset divorces. Those cannot only be emotionally draining, but financially, too. The plethora of marital property the couple amassed during their marriage can lead to protracted legal battles that are expensive to mount and defend.

When one or both of the spouses is famous or simply high profile in their industry, the process can become even stickier. Traditional divorces involve revealing private information that becomes public record. These divorces attract unwanted attention when discretion is what is most needed.

Cases such as those often are settled in ways that avoid public scrutiny. Some possible resolutions include:

-- Collaborative divorces. The couple works with a team of attorneys, counselors and financial advisors to reach accord and avoid litigation. Both parties must agree to these terms. If one party wants his or her day in court, that person is entitled to it.

In a collaborative divorce, sometimes assets remain hidden. This type of divorce also offers no protection from domestic abuse. However, many high net worth individuals choose this option for its privacy.

Sometimes referred to as arbitration, mediation also provides privacy by keeping the details out of court records. It can be a great choice for disputed custody matters as well. However, if mediation proceedings begin heading south and no resolution is possible, the parties may still have to litigate their issues in court.

Some New York City couples elect to file their divorce petition in a separate third-party location where they have additional properties like vacation homes or family land. There will be less attention paid to filings in a rural county courthouse than in Manhattan.

Seeking out divorce attorneys who value their clients' privacy needs is a good course of action.

Source: Investopedia, "Top Tips for Keeping Clients’ Divorces Private," John P. Schmoll, Oct. 14, 2015

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