Divorce can be a public event but it does not have to be. A divorce ends a marriage. Unfortunately, for a private individual a divorce can evolve into a public affair drenched in gossip.
Judgment of Divorce
When a divorce is granted the judge signs a document called a Judgment of Divorce which is the formal document ending the marriage and provides for the division of the parties assets, liabilities, custody and support if applicable.
A Judgment of Divorce is a Public record
A Judgment of Divorce is also a public record and provides a blueprint of the marital estate. Since every Judgment of Divorce must divide the parties assets and liabilities parties bank account and credit card numbers, retirement accounts, automobiles and business interests are identified in the document for anyone to see.
Confidential Settlement Agreement
There is an alternative for individuals who want privacy. A Confidential Settlement Agreement.
As the name implies a Confidential Settlement Agreement remains confidential. Like a traditional Judgment of Divorce, a Confidential Settlement Agreement lists the parties’ assets, bank account and credit card numbers, retirement accounts and liabilities.
Unlike a Judgment of Divorce, a Confidential Settlement Agreement is not a public record, rather a private contract.
So how does a Confidential Settlement Agreement work?
A Confidential Settlement Agreement is drafted and signed by the parties as a binding contract. The Confidential Settlement Agreement is then incorporated and merged into a Judgment of Divorce without attaching it.
Instead of providing a blueprint of the parties assets and liabilities in the Judgment of Divorce, the Judgment of Divorce references the Confidential Settlement Agreement. For example, the Judgment of Divorce will provide that the assets and liabilities are divided in the manner set forth in the Confidential Settlement Agreement.
The only time the Confidential Settlement Agreement is viewed by anyone is to obtain approval from the court and/or to enforce the Confidential Settlement Agreement.
With a Confidential Settlement Agreement you can retain some privacy while navigating through the divorce process.
About Findling Law
I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for over two decades. The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles. We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances.
That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm. We want to help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life, without compromising principles.
We want to help you manage your situation. Let our exceptional legal team help you . . .
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By: Daniel Findling