Word leaked recently that former Florida congressman and host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, Joe Scarborough, quietly divorced his wife, Susan Waren, back in January 2013. The couple, who actually filed for divorce in September 2012, was married for 12 years and they have two minor children together. Despite going through a divorce, the couple apparently managed to keep their divorce under wraps.
Many clients who are considering divorce or already in the process of a divorce wonder what they should keep to themselves during a divorce so that they can have a “quiet divorce” like Scarborough. Keeping a divorce quiet will ride on what and how much you share with your children, spouse, friends, coworkers, the Court, etc.
Keeping Quiet With Your Children
If you are going through a divorce and you have children then it is important that you consider drawing boundaries for yourself regarding what you share with the children – especially young children. This doesn’t mean that you need to lie or hide things from your children. But rather, information pertaining to the divorce should be rephrased in a manner that won’t be as detrimental to the kids’ well-being. For instance, your children don’t need to know who’s “fault” it is that mommy and daddy are getting divorced or what the details are regarding how your assets will be divided. Rather, your children simply need to know that both during and after the divorce they are safe and will be loved by both parents just the same. When it comes to divulging your divorce to your kids, “less is more” if you don’t particularly want their teachers, classmates, and friend’s parents to know about your private life.
Keeping Quiet With Your Friends, Coworkers, and Spouse
What you discuss with your attorney, both written and oral, is subject to the attorney-client privilege. As the client, you are the holder of the attorney-client privilege and only you can waive that privilege. If you want to keep your divorce quiet and not jeopardize that privilege by publicly disclosing the communication, then don’t be too liberal in the information that your share with your friends, spouse, coworkers, etc.
Keeping Quiet With the Judge
If you feel like you need to talk to someone about your spouse or your divorce at large, the Court might not necessarily be your best outlet. The court only wants to hear evidence that is relevant to the issues at hand, separation of assets and debts or valuation of property for instance, not whose fault it is for the divorce. Rather, you might consider meeting with a counselor so that you are able to get everything off your chest in the right setting.
Although it may not be easy, it will behoove you to stay quiet during a divorce. Call 858-793-8884 for more information regarding what you should and should not be sharing during a divorce. Nancy J. Bickford is the only attorney in San Diego County representing clients in divorces, who is a Certified Family Law Specialist and who is actively licensed as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).