Those going through a divorce often have concerns about their personal lives becoming public or being painted in an unfavorable light during the public divorce process.
In the Collaborative Divorce process, couples can avoid having their personal, financial and other information become part of the public divorce process.
Keeping Financial Information Private
In a Collaborative Divorce, the divorce professionals are required to keep all personal information confidential. Most people do not want strangers to know about their income level, their investments, or what debts they might owe. The Collaborative Divorce process is conducted in a private setting, outside of the public courtroom, and the information discussed does not become part of the divorce records.
Keeping Health Information Private
Society still stigmatizes many mental health issues. One of the people in a divorce may have a treated or untreated mental health condition or they may have an alcohol or drug addiction problem. These very personal situations can be weaponized in court. Especially in a traditional litigated divorce, when people are trying to throw all the mud they can in an attempt to win custody of children. In a Collaborative Divorce, your health information is always kept private and your Collaborative team is aware of your unique situation and can help craft a divorce agreement that works for your family.
Keeping Information Private Within the Collaborative Team
TheCollaborative Divorce teams consist of lawyers, mental health professionals, and financial professionals. Every member of the team has the same requirements for confidentiality. When confidential information is shared with the collaborative team, every member is going to keep that information confidential. If the collaborative process were to fall apart for any reason, none of the professional team members will go to court and start testifying about what was shared in this collaborative process.
California attorneys still have the same obligations of confidentiality and attorney-client privilege if they are representing a client in a collaborative process or if they are consulting in a mediation process. Although their ethics and obligations do not change, attorneys are not obligated to assist or enable a client to commit a crime. As a collaborative attorney, if my client tells me they have planned to kidnap their children and take them to another country where we the United States does not have a treaty for return of kidnapped children, then I would tell that client that I must resign my role as their collaborative attorney as I am not going to help them do something illegal. I would advise the client that we should discuss why they feel the need to kidnap the children and we should work out a solution as a collaborative team.
Collaborative Divorce is focused on providing a safe space for families to reach agreements, share vital information, and feel secure that none of their personal information will be exposed.