Posts Tagged ‘high profile divorce’


Divorce Confidential: For Maximum Discretion, Fine Tune Agreements before Going to Court

December 20, 2016

Some of the highest-profile divorces occur in California, where all eyes are turned towards celebrities and Silicon Valley millionaires – yet the sunshine state isn’t somewhere it’s easy to shield your private affairs. In California, unlike New York, members of the public only have to show up to the courthouse to obtain – and photocopy – divorce and financial records. So what do high profile, high net-worth people involved in a complex divorce do to keep their affairs as discreet as possible? In California, high profile couples often choose to hire private judges. The advantage of this option is to hold a trial at a location that’s known only to the parties, but if for some reason information gets out, technically the public can attend these trials too. Whatever happens in litigation is eventually public record, even if the proceedings are held privately.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced family law professional.

Parties in a divorce can request to have parts of their divorce proceedings sealed but the judge will weigh up the damage to one party from public disclosure against the presumption that the court records are open to the public. In addition to this, request for privacy must be “narrowly tailored,” which means parties can’t request all records closed just because it will make them more comfortable. The court will seal off no more information than necessary to protect specific concerns. Some of these reasons can include the need to protect children and the need to protect proprietary business interests. Ultimately it is in the hands of the judge to decide, making litigation a risky option for entrepreneurs developing proprietary technology or for people who are desperate to keep their kids out of the spotlight. In one very well-known example, Brad Pitt’s recent request to seal information regarding child custody arrangements was denied by a judge.

Angelina Jolie’s lawyer Laura Wasser, who is well-known for maintaining a high level of discretion in divorce, recommends that parties spend most of their time working out an agreement before ever filing divorce papers and going before a judge. ( Knowing where both parties stand and having a roadmap for how a divorce will proceed makes the process more predictable and the information that is released more carefully controlled by the parties. Couples who follow Wasser’s recommendation might want to try mediation, a process tailor-made for coming to confidential agreements that take into account a complex array of issues. At Boileau Conflict Solutions we specialize in working out more complicated divorces in which couples may need to split business assets or have delicate childcare considerations. We come to each case prepared to meet the challenges of complex lives with the utmost of care and most importantly, complete confidentiality and discretion.

It also bears repeating that discretion need not, in fact, cost as much as hiring a private judge: mediation is cheaper than litigation. Divorce mediators are skilled legal professionals who are experts in crafting agreements that take into account complex financial and childcare arrangements. At Boileau Conflict Solutions we perform extensive analysis of assets, liquidity, cash flow, and equalization options, which includes child support and spousal support. We also offer the only mediated business valuation of any mediation firm in California. We can help divorcing partners splitting a business to come to an optimum arrangement. In addition, we are developing a mathematical algorithm that uses fair division, game theory, and psychoanalysis, drilling down into both conscious and unconscious preferences and needs. Please get in touch to find out how we can help you make your divorce as discreet as possible.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced family law professional.

Sources for this article:


What We All Should Be Wishing for Brad and Angelina: Privacy, Healing and a Good Parenting Plan

September 21, 2016

In one of Hollywood’s saddest splits, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt recently announced their divorce, with Angelina citing “irreconcilable differences.”

Their marriage has been short: they wed in 2014, initially delaying marriage as an ethical protest until same-sex marriage was legalized. Angelina is known for her humanitarian work almost as much as for her career as a movie actress, and the couple are an interesting Hollywood pair in that their “power couple” status has always seemed very much secondary to their dedication to their family of six children.

Since the announcement, the media has focused on Angelina’s attorney’s statement that she was divorcing Brad for the health of the family and that she would be aiming to keep full custody of the children and granting Brad visitation rights rather than shared custody. Naturally it didn’t take long for the tabloid media to descend on this detail with rumors of Brad’s drug-use and bad parenting.

But let’s take a moment to look at Brad’s statement and the statement of Angelina’s lawyers:

Pitt told People magazine: “I am very saddened by this but what matters most now is the well-being of our kids.” “I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.” (Source: Reuters)

Here is Angelina's attorney, Robert Offer: "This decision was made for the health of the family. She will not be commenting, and asks that the family be given its privacy at this time." (Source: Reuters)

The theme common to both these statements is “privacy and space.” No matter how hurt or blindsided Brad is feeling right now, it’s clear that he is focused on the wellbeing and stability of his family.

With visitation rather than shared custody, Brad and Angelina will need a well-structured but flexible parenting-plan that ensures the minimum disruption and access to the children’s father, to protect the best interests of the child. Assuming Brad is a competent parent, California law upholds that it’s in the interests of children not to lose one parent because of divorce.

Based on their dedication to their family thus far, let’s give Brad and Angelina the benefit of the doubt. Even if Angelina isn’t comfortable with granting Brad full access to their children, working together must surely be a priority for a couple who have put their children at the center of their lives. The good news for a couple like Brad and Angelina is that they can put their combined resources to work to craft a well-designed parenting plan, they can enlist staff so neither parents get burnt out (especially during the back-to-school period), and over time they can evolve into a new and thriving family that survives the Jolie-Pitt marriage. We can only wish them the best.

Smart Parenting Plans

At Boileau Conflict Resolution, we specialize in crafting intelligent parenting plans that take into account the myriad circumstances a divorcing couple can encounter. We have worked on complex International Parenting Plans, amongst others. We specialize in assisting professional couples with independent or shared resources who are dedicated to career and children, for whom timely and tailored conflict resolution is key. Though marriage may not always be forever, co-parenting is for life, and we believe the best and most discreet solutions can be found through mediation, a process that is timely, cost-effective and offers both partners freedom to choose their ideal future, a freedom often lost during the adversarial litigation process. Mediation proceedings further offer the protection of confidentiality to high profile families. We refer to attachment theory, developmental theory, and psychoanalysis to protect important bonding between parents and children during the process of mediating an agreement. Please contact us today to see how we can help.