You’ve probably asked a variety of employees in your business to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) or confidentiality agreements. Some people also require those who work in their home to sign them. If you’re well-known within your community or your profession, you don’t want your personal life to become fodder for gossip or – worse – to be used against you. You also want to keep your financial information private.
That’s why some divorcing couples sign mutual NDAs. We typically hear about them when a celebrity tells an interviewer they can’t discuss their divorce or the terms of their support or child custody agreements because they’ve signed an NDA. However, anyone can seek an NDA as they divorce or at least put a non-disclosure provision in their divorce agreement.
What is covered in a divorce NDA?
Sometimes they are confined to financial and business documents. A lot of information has to be disclosed by spouses in a divorce. You may not want your competitors to know how much you have in assets and debts or what plans you may have for your business.
Often, however, confidentiality also applies to personal information. You may not want it getting out that you’re dealing with a substance abuse issue, for example, or that you fathered a child outside your marriage. The non-disclosure agreement can also serve as another type of NDA – a non-disparagement agreement.
Divorce NDAs typically focus on documents or testimony introduced in the proceedings. However, you can broaden the scope of the agreement to stipulate that neither of you will discuss the divorce or each other on social media (or any other kind of media) during or after the divorce.
Making the case for an NDA
If your soon-to-be-ex doesn’t agree to sign a confidentiality agreement, you’ll need to take your case to the judge. You’ll likely need to argue that if any of the information you’re seeking to keep confidential gets out, you could suffer financial and professional harm. However, sometimes both spouses will agree to one because they don’t want their children to learn any details of their divorce that could be hurtful to them.
While an NDA can’t guarantee that information won’t leak, the financial penalties can be a powerful incentive for everyone not to violate it. With sound legal guidance, you can craft and negotiate a solid agreement – or argue your case for one, if necessary.