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It's possible to keep the details of your divorce private

Have you ever noticed that celebrities rarely hash out the particulars of their divorce settlements in open court? While they love to bask in the glow of the spotlights for their professional achievements, when it comes to revealing some unflattering truths about their marriages, they prefer to keep the sordid or untidy details under wraps.

But it's not just celebrities who can benefit from keeping mum about these matters. As divorce can be hard on those involved — particularly the kids — negotiating the settlement terms through mediation is often preferable.

Concern for privacy is a top reason for Pleasanton couples contemplating divorce to instead choose mediation over litigation. The state of California allows the public to access all court filings, with the sole exception being paternity matters. As such, divorce pleadings are filed at the courthouse. That means that any "Nosey Rosey" can peruse the details of your divorce and spread any allegations therein far and wide at will.

Divorcing couples need to keep in mind that any testimony in court automatically becomes part of the public record. For instance, if one partner has allegedly assaulted the other spouse or given him or her a sexually transmitted disease, this can become part of the record and potentially become a major embarrassment to the parties.

Children of parents whose marital foibles are exposed can also suffer collateral damage in these cases. Parents of their contemporaries may gossip unkindly about the turn of events, and these comments have a way of filtering down to young ears. This can even result in parental alienation if a child who hears such gossip takes the side of one parent over another.

Choosing to mediate your divorce is usually a win-win situation for all parties. Even if all matters are not resolved in a mediation setting, the more delicate and private issues may be able to be settled via mediation, while more mundane and less intrusive aspects of the divorce can still play out in the California family court system.

Does this form of alternate dispute resolution sound like a good idea to you? While mediation may not be for all divorcing couples, many find this to be the best path forward for all involved.

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
699 Peters Avenue
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Pleasanton, CA 94566

Phone: 925-271-5650
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