You often hear about attorney-client privilege or confidentiality in movies or on TV. In communications between an attorney and a client, the attorney has a duty not to disclose any confidential information of the client; that means that the attorney cannot tell anyone that they are even representing that client. It means that the attorney cannot disclose any of the client’s personal information or any of the details of the case. The information that the client shares with his or her lawyer is privileged and confidential.
The confidentiality and the privilege are only between the client and that client’s lawyer. The other side of the case does not have to be confidential about what they learn during the divorce and gossip can run rampant in divorce. Especially, in small communities, where people run in the same circles. If one party shares their or their spouse’s information, that information, depending on how salacious it is, can spread like wildfire.
Most parties don’t want their private information shared and are mortified when it gets filed in the public record or aired out in a public courtroom. Whether it’s regarding the circumstances that led to their divorce, financial details, assets, liabilities, their children, substance abuse, adultery, or any other challenging facts in a case, most people do not want that laundry aired out. They want to keep that information private to protect themselves and their children. Often in situations where one or both of the clients are active in the community or their business income depends upon their social networking, the airing out that dirty laundry can adversely affect the family’s future income. This in-turn adversely affects the family’s resources.
The Collaborative Divorce process creates a capsule around everybody involved to be confidential and to keep private information private. We create a bubble where the clients are free to be creative, flexible, and generous with each other. The clients can share all relevant information freely. The entire collaborative team commits to confidentiality along with the clients so that the information will not be shared with anyone outside of the team.
Additionally, in the Collaborative Divorce process public court filings are kept at a minimum and private information regarding the family’s details, assets, and liabilities are not included; neither party is cross-examined in the courtroom. That’s a big relief in today’s Covid-19 environment when more and more courtrooms are going digital and airing their proceedings on YouTube.
The Collaborative Divorce process protects the parties’ reputations and keeps information private.