Your divorce doesn’t have to be a public event

Most of us don’t experience the social inconveniences that celebrities do. You probably don’t have to look completely “put together” to grab a cup of coffee in the morning, nor do you worry that going shopping with your kids will turn into an unwanted photo shoot. Most of us don’t have these problems because most of us aren’t famous.

But there is at least one situation in which celebrities and average people share similar worries about privacy invasions. If you’re going through a divorce or other family law dispute, you may suddenly feel like your whole life has been publicly exposed to be judged by anyone and everyone. It is during these times of difficult personal struggle that privacy rights are more important than ever.

Most of the time celebrity divorces are not a good model for anyone else to follow. But when it comes to managing divorce-related privacy concerns, celebrities often get things right. This was exemplified recently in a joint statement by Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. The statement accomplished several important things:

  • It announced the divorce in a way that was not blaming or disrespectful to either spouse
  • It reaffirmed a commitment to divorce amicably and to co-parent successfully
  • It asked the public to respect the family’s privacy, especially the privacy of the children
  • It noted that there would be no more public comments or discussions on the subject because it was a private matter

If you going through a divorce, you may have already faced personal and uncomfortable questions from friends, family and even acquaintances. Most are well-meaning, but that doesn’t necessarily make it better. With few exceptions, people don’t have a right to expect any explanation beyond what you are comfortable sharing with them. By having a statement ready (written down if that’s easier), you and your spouse can be prepared to handle these invasive questions as a united front. No one gets blamed, and you remind people that you and your children deserve privacy.

Divorce is tough enough without feeling like you are under the microscope. Instead of fielding questions and giving detailed explanations, you can choose to handle your “press” like a media-savvy celebrity would.

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