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Is a confidentiality agreement a good idea in a divorce?

Aug 17, 2020 | Divorce

Married couples often share the most personal aspects of their lives with one another. When a marriage doesn’t work out, these details as well as confidential files and other sensitive information can be at risk of being revealed to the public. Is it possible for Virginia couples going through a divorce to keep their private life private? Those concerned about this issue may suggest a confidentiality agreement.

In most cases, spouses will already not have access to information or files during a divorce that they were not privy to during a marriage without appropriate protections. For example, private business information that was not previously seen by the spouse may be protected from the eyes of anyone not permitted to see it, including an ex or soon-to-be ex-spouse. The purpose of a confidentiality agreement would not necessarily be to protect these documents, as they already have legal protection; rather, it could be used to establish how such documents, or any personal information, are to be treated when they are seen for the purposes of furthering a divorce.

In a typical divorce, confidentiality agreements will specify that only the attorneys, the divorcing parties, courts and those directly involved will have access to such information or documents. This also means that the parties listed may not share the information with others outside of the proceedings. This is a mutual agreement where the consequences of breaching are clearly laid out.

Many couples find confidentiality agreements helpful, but they are particularly critical for business owners. There are few downsides to pursuing this additional protection, especially for those with interests that can be impacted by the sharing of personal files. It’s a good idea to raise this idea with a Virginia family lawyer early on in the divorce to ensure protection throughout the process.