public divorce

“Handling” the Media (in Family Law Matters)?

On Wednesday January 18, 2012 I will be presenting a Webinar for the ABA. It is one that is interesting to me. The title? Handling the Media in a Family Law Matter. I am sure I don’t know all the answers, but preparing for it and thinking about it has been educational and enjoyable.

While there certainly is more than one way to work with the press, I have found that being forthcoming with the media, even if my answer is “I don’t know”, or “I know but cannot and will not say”, has been the best. The media have much power, but in the end, they, like we, are people making decisions and judgment calls so why make them second guess your honesty or integrity.

I am looking forward to the program. If you have any helpful tips, resources, insights or suggestions, please pass them along. It can only help improve the presentation.

Sealed divorce records

This is always an interesting question: the right to seal divorce records. A recent AJC article (click “story” for it) illustrates how the public clamors for details, especially when the party is running for office. A very similar situation unfolded a few years ago when the Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives had his divorce case sealed.

But what about less famous people? Should the public have a right to know the details of the average divorce? When children will be dropped off? How much money each side gets? Why not keep those things private? I do not think the public’s right or need to know should outweigh an individual’s ability to keep these matters private. Just because a relationship ends, why do the financial details become private? Married couples can keep their information private. Just because a relationship ends, is publicity another form of punishment we should heap upon people already suffering the end of a relationship they once thought was forever? For me the answer is clear. Why not allow some privacy? Absent some major need to know (examples are hard to find), I say keep it private.