There are many, many reasons couples prefer the salacious details of their divorces not become part of the Texas public records. Maybe an extramarital affair left someone with a sexually transmitted disease or pregnant with an out-of-wedlock child. Physical or psychological infirmities could have caused sexual dysfunction like impotence that prevents marital relations between the spouses. Or perhaps one of the spouses is struggling to break the bonds of addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex. There can be quite a few intensely private and potentially humiliating reasons why couples no longer want to stay married.
Even when the details are far less sordid, few couples who value their privacy want to expose their financial and personal details to the world at large. But records of divorce proceedings can – and do – fall into the hands of those the parties would prefer not be privy to such information.
Keeping a tight lid on the information flow
Especially when there are minor children to consider in a divorce, it is important for the spouses to consider just how damaging releasing personal and private information and documents can be. In some instances, the parties’ safety could even be endangered if they are forced to disclose how high their net worth is during the discovery process of the divorce proceedings, because these disclosures could place them or their kids in the crosshairs of prospective kidnappers, blackmailers or extortionists.
While those are certainly worst-case scenarios that likely will never come to fruition, the last thing divorcing spouses need is further stress and worries. Even if the information contained in the divorce petition is only disseminated to a few “nosey Rosies” or courthouse personnel, the fact remains that once information is out there in the public domain, it is next to impossible to control who can gain access to it.
Leaked personal details can affect business relations
Even if you think that your run-of-the-mill divorce is far too boring to attract much attention from the press or the public, consider how a business rival may find it interesting to peruse your case file in the civil courthouse. Simply showing up with a picture ID is all that is necessary in most cases for a competitor to be handed a file full of very interesting documents, including affidavits attesting to the state of your financial affairs. While some identifying details like Employer Identification or Social Security numbers should always be redacted, there is still a plethora of data to be mined from a typical divorce file.
This information can then be subsequently used against you during business negotiations, either from a financial or a purely psychological angle. While it might not be enough to tank your next seven-figure merger, why give competitors this kind of edge?
Bury the hatchet and mediate your divorce
Some marital rifts are too deep to splice back together, but most couples can see the wisdom of keeping their personal affairs private, which can be achieved through divorce mediation with experienced legal professionals well-versed in the media tion process.