How high-profile people can keep divorce filings private

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2021 | High Asset Divorce |

Getting a divorce in Tennessee is complicated and difficult enough without needing to deal with outsiders being aware of all aspects of the case while it is in progress. While most divorces are kept relatively private, that is largely due to there being a lack of interest in a normal, everyday divorce. High-profile people with substantial assets are prone to having their laundry aired publicly when they end a marriage. This includes owners of large businesses, chief executive officers, prominent doctors, legal professionals, actors, singers, athletes and others. There are, however, ways to maintain privacy even in a high-profile divorce.

Recent divorce of reality show star shows how details can reach the public

When a person who is well-known gets divorced, it is almost inevitable that there will be information about the proceedings leaked to the public in one way or another. A recent example is the divorce involving a reality TV host of the show “American Pickers.” The host had been married for nine years before his wife filed for divorce in Tennessee in November 2020. In the show, he travels the country as he and his partner try to find antiques to acquire and sell, keep or provide to private collectors. Although the divorce was not contentious by famous person standards and they used collaborative law signifying the divorce was relatively amicable, it did not take long for details to become tabloid fodder. That included information about his new home and new relationship. Since this individual is moderately famous and became embroiled in having his information discussed publicly, it can be a problem for anyone who has reasonably high profile.

It is possible to keep divorce records private

Although these types of cases are generally available to the public by law, there are ways to keep the details of the case private. Divorces can be sealed so the information about the case is not in the public record. It is important to remember that the court does not do this on its own. If a person who is getting the divorce wants the court to seal it, that individual must make that request. The judge will assess the circumstances and decide. If a person will suffer damage if the records are made public and that damage is beyond the presumption that the public is within its rights to have access to the divorce records, it can allow the case to be sealed.

There are many reasons for which a divorce can be kept under seal. That includes keeping a person’s most important personal information out of the public eye. If it is someone with a business and substantial assets, they will obviously not want the public to have access to these records. False allegations that could negatively impact a person’s reputation might warrant the case being sealed. There can also be a sealed divorce if there is domestic violence or children are involved and must be shielded.

A vital aspect of having the records sealed is that the request must be specific. The information that will be damaging to the person getting divorced must be narrowed down so it will be sealed while other information that should be available to the public remains so. It is generally easier to seal narrow parts of the case rather than the whole case. Courts are less willing to seal the entire case.

Keeping a divorce private will require professional assistance

Every divorce is different and the strategies must be tailored to address each factor directly. For those in prominent positions, that might include trying to keep certain pieces of information out of the public sphere. There are many concerns for those who have major assets and are well-known. That includes complex property division, alimony, child custody, child support and more. If the participants’ private lives are part of daily discussion in the media and online, it can complicate matters in myriad ways. To avoid this, it is useful to try and keep the filing private. Professional assistance can be vital to achieve this end.