There are some legitimate benefits to keeping your divorce under wraps. For one, divorcing in secret means no meddling friends, nosy neighbors, or prying relatives poking their noses where they don't belong. Divorcing in secret lets you quietly legally separate from your spouse without unsolicited advice or judgmental glances. Plus, there's the added thrill of unveiling your newfound freedom as a surprise to the world.
So, if you're seeking a divorce with a side of mystery, consider the merits of hushed proceedings and savor the satisfaction of keeping everyone guessing. You know which group of individuals have mastered the art of divorcing in secret? Celebrities. Here are some of their best practices.
Hiring a private judge (full disclosure: it’s costly)
Hiring a private judge for one’s divorce is especially beneficial if the couple’s separation is acrimonious. For one, they can avoid having their dirty laundry aired out in a family court. Rather, their marital troubles will be heard in a private setting. With a private judge, they get a more civilized, personalized experience and they don’t have to wait for the case to reach the top of the court's never-ending docket. Instead, they get the undivided attention of a judge who is solely focused on their case.
If you're craving a divorce with a touch of exclusivity, consider the allure of a private judge and prepare to experience a matrimonial resolution fit for the stars, such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
Note that in the case of couples like Brangelina, whose famously acrimonious split filled headlines for months (if not years), it’s impossible to keep details of the separation private. But they at least managed to keep most of the details out of the public eye. This was important to them, as they have six children together and wanted to protect their privacy as much as possible. Additionally, the private judge was able to hear their case more quickly than a public judge.
A crucial but minor detail: hiring a private judge is very expensive.
Logging off/not oversharing on Instagram
The level of divorce’s secrecy ultimately depends on how badly you want to keep it secret. So, once you start the divorce process, watch what you say and do. Avoid talking about your divorce with friends, family, or your barista. Discuss your case not with your friends on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok but with a divorce attorney.
The likes of Reese Witherspoon, Giselle Bundchen, and Channing Tatum announced their splits from their spouses on the social media platform. As they’re high-profile celebs, they had good reason to.
But so many of their celebrity peers didn’t, including exes Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton who, in 2015, announced their split on the same day their divorce was finalized. In a social media photo posted two days before their divorce announcement, Blake Shelton could even be seen wearing his wedding ring, removing it only after announcing it to the public.
Choosing the right jurisdiction
Not all jurisdictions are created equal when it comes to divorce. Some have more stringent requirements than others, and some are more likely to keep your divorce records confidential.
Take, for instance, Katie Holmes. If you were alive in 2012, you would have been made aware (perhaps even against your will) of Holmes’ divorce from Tom Cruise, as theirs was a high-profile split. Nevertheless, Holmes was able to keep the details of their divorce confidential by filing for divorce in New York State, which has some of the strictest privacy laws in the country.
Similarly, pop singer and actress Mandy Moore, who got divorced from Ryan Adams in 2016, was able to keep the details of their divorce confidential by filing for divorce in Tennessee, which also has strict privacy laws.
Consulting a discreet attorney
We’ll let you in on a little secret: not all divorce attorneys are created equal when it comes to discretion. Some attorneys will go to great lengths to keep your information confidential, while others don’t. Do your research and find an attorney who you can trust to keep your divorce a secret.
Stars like Kim Kardashian, Mia Farrow, and Heidi Klum, to name a few, tend to choose divorce lawyers like Laura Wasser whose reputation for being extremely discreet is well known. We normally wouldn’t endorse any of Kim K’s deeds, but she has gotten so good at handling tough legal situations. This was probably a result of being married to Kanye West/Ye.
If you want a discreet family law attorney in the Evergreen State, Buckingham, LaGrandeur, & Williams is the legal team to call. The only people whose divorce we talk about are celebrity couples. Leave us a message or call our Renton law offices.