During Divorce, When Is a Confidentiality Agreement Necessary?

As any Tennessee resident who has been involved in a divorce knows, during the process, parties often exchange various types of financial documents and any other information necessary to establish income and assets and liabilities subject to division. Divorcing spouses may wonder if such documents should be protected by a confidentiality agreement. Experts suggest any information that is not publicly accessible or is made accessible to an ex-spouse only because of the divorce should be protected, possibly excepting personal bank account information and the like.  

What Is Included in the Agreement?

Typically, a confidentiality agreement identifies which documents will be labeled “confidential,” specifies the treatment and labeling of these documents, and states which parties will have access to these documents. Information marked confidential must not be shared outside this specified circle. The agreement should also include details about the consequences of breaching the agreement, as well as for instructions for disposing of confidential documents at the end of the case, treatment of the documents when they are used in court, and protection of documents under other circumstances, as well as how to dispute a document’s confidential status. 

Is an Agreement Necessary? 

Divorcing business owners should have a confidentiality agreement in place for many reasons, but employees looking to access confidential records for the purpose of their divorce process may also find their employer wanting a confidentiality agreement in place before they will release that information. If a divorcing person is unsure whether a confidentiality agreement is necessary, it’s best to err on the side of caution and request one. Provided the person has a legitimate reason for wanting it, the other side is unlikely to argue against it. 

During divorce proceedings, one’s attorney may bring up the possibility of a confidentiality agreement, but if not, a divorcing person should raise the topic for discussion to determine whether one is needed. Many divorcing Tennessee residents may find this type of document somewhat daunting, like many parts of the divorce process. An attorney with extensive experience in family law can help.

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