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Why should records be sealed in a high asset divorce?

A great deal of media coverage has been focused on the divorce between actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Most recently, the couple has agreed to have their divorce records sealed, meaning that the details of their high asset divorce will not be available to the public. It is easy to understand why one of the world's most famous and followed couples would want to have their records sealed, but many Maryland couples who do not live their lives under the same spotlight  could also benefit from such a move.

During the course of a divorce, privacy is not always a top priority. People tend to focus more on the nuts and bolts of the process, including property division and child custody matters. However, the final divorce record will likely contain a great deal of personal and financial information, and not everyone is comfortable having those details available to any individual who cares to go to the courthouse and peruse those files.

Identity theft is a concern to some people, as having a comprehensive list of assets can make an individual an attractive target. For others, personal matters are more of a concern. This is especially true in cases where infidelity was an issue in the divorce. Having that kind of information in the public realm may not be what either spouse intends at the onset of the divorce.

The best way to control the availability of high asset divorce records is to ask the court to seal them. The process differs from one state to the next, but a family law attorney is able to guide Maryland clients on the best way to approach the court. For many spouses who are facing a high asset divorce, having their records sealed can lead to greater peace of mind, as well as improved security.

Source: CNBC, "How to divorce like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie", Jessica Dickler, Jan. 11, 2017

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