When many people think of a high-profile divorce, images of contentious celebrity divorces often come to mind, but you do not need to be famous for your divorce to be considered high profile.
Here is a look at what is involved in this type of divorce and some considerations to keep in mind for those who fall into this category.
When Is a Divorce Considered High-Profile?
A high-profile divorce has at least one spouse who has some type of important reputation or public notoriety that may be affected negatively by going through a divorce. Even individuals who are not very widely recognized by the public can be involved in this type of divorce, such as those who are leaders in civic groups, country clubs, churches, local corporations and government bodies.
Many times, high-profile individuals going through a divorce hire law firms with experience in these cases to keep the proceedings more discreet. For example, the details of a high-profile divorce involving a CEO of a business may cause their board of trustees to lose faith in their leadership, or it could damage their perception of the CEO’s character and eventually cost them their position. Therefore, keeping the details of the divorce confidential is paramount.
Outlined below are some examples of divorces that could be considered high-profile:
- A respected professor at a university will be interviewing for a celebrated department chair position and is concerned that the news of their impending divorce may compromise their chances of receiving the position.
- A politician who is running for a local office is looking for a very discreet divorce that will not affect their public image or their campaign.
- The CEO of a publicly traded company is seeking a divorce and does not want news about it to reduce investors’ confidence in the business.
A High-Profile Divorce May Involve More Moving Parts than a Standard Divorce
Although all divorces may be similar in the sense that they result in the end of a marriage and come with a range of emotions, the division of assets in high-profile cases can be particularly complicated.
It is always challenging to determine how children or possessions will be shared when divorcing, but when multiple homes, properties and businesses are involved as well as one or more spouses with a highly public persona, the proceedings are far more complex. In cases with very affluent couples, there may be more disagreements related to the succession of wealth and managing tax concerns.
As a result, couples going through any of these types of divorce may benefit by working with a large team of divorce professionals. This team extends beyond divorce attorneys to include trust and estate attorneys, tax attorneys, corporate attorneys, forensic accountants and other professionals.
Many High-Profile Cases Settle Out of Court
Many times, the couples involved in a high-profile divorce have a strong interest in settling outside of court to avoid media coverage. The drama surrounding a high-profile public divorce can lead to gossip and speculation that can damage reputations and livelihoods, in addition to being personally hurtful. In some cases, the scandal surrounding high-profile divorces can often extend to the spouses’ children and other family members and cause them significant stress and psychological pain.
There may also be cases where one spouse in a contentious divorce seeks the spotlight or takes steps to leak information to the press that will harm the other party, especially if they do not have a public profile of their own that they are concerned about protecting.
In many high-profile divorces, however, the parties involved are looking to obtain a divorce quietly and keep it out of the public eye as much as possible, and they may work with a mediator and their attorneys to come up with a mutually agreeable separation agreement.
A mediator can serve as a neutral third party to help a divorcing couple agree on issues that need to be resolved, such as the distribution of assets and division of debts; child support, custody and visitation; and the payment of spousal support.
The divorcing parties will usually work with their attorney throughout the process to ensure that their interests are protected. Following successful mediation, high-profile divorce attorneys can help prepare a separation agreement that includes the agreed-upon terms of the divorce.
Contact the Experienced Maryland Divorce Attorneys
The experienced Maryland divorce attorneys at SIEGELLAW provide discreet and compassionate legal services to individuals who are considering divorce. With more than three decades of experience assisting high-profile clients successfully navigate the divorce process, our team can help! Contact us today to schedule a consultation.