Many sign non-disclosure agreements when they leave a company, but it may not occur to them to use one as part of a divorce agreement. Nonetheless, each example is a termination of a working relationship. Of course, personal lives are different than our professional ones, but a spouse may be aware of sensitive information (financial, business, personal, etc.) not meant for public consumption. This is why couples also sometimes ask to seal court records or opt to avoid the risk of them being unsealed by avoiding litigation altogether.
Potential reasons to do this
From a business perspective, an owner, partner, or member of an LLC may need to take steps like this to ensure the company’s ongoing success better. It may be a matter where there are plans to sell a business, and there are, unbeknownst to the potential buyers, more than one offer on the table. It may be a matter where the offer price for the business could suddenly become public and impact the sale. Companies may also ask for non-disclosure because they do not want the employee’s total compensation package made public.
An agreement ahead of time indicates that only the couple, their attorneys, the court, and expert witnesses will be privy to the information. The spouse may also have sensitive documents marked “confidential.” On a personal level, it also provides recourse if an angry ex decides to share gossip with friends and family, or even post something on social media.
The couple would both sign their agreement acknowledging the consequences of sharing this information. It will likely involve financial penalties and start with an injunction. After the divorce, the spouse may have to give up any financial information provided to them, although an attorney may want to keep a secured copy for their records.
It is better to be cautious
This kind of thinking may sound excessive or paranoid, but many out there would never dream of sharing the size of their estate or bank account with family, friends, or the media. Those contemplating using one should discuss options with the attorney handling their divorce.