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Divorce for Public Figures in New York


Divorce is an emotionally and financially stressful process, and if you’re in the public eye, it can be even more so. Whether you’re a public official, a CEO of a company, an actor or a social media icon, the last thing you want is for the details of your divorce to become public knowledge. After all, if the details of your divorce get out, it can compromise your public image, damage your reputation, impact your career, and harm your family.

Compared to traditional or non-celebrity divorces, public figure divorces are in a whole other caliber and must be treated as such. Whether or not you have hired a public relations professional, your divorce attorney must have the knowledge and skill to handle your divorce with the utmost level of respect for your privacy.

Beyond that, your divorce team must educate you on the rules of conduct as a public figure navigating a high-profile divorce.

Here are just a few things to consider as a public figure:

  • Do not discuss your divorce on social media. Sooner or later, reporters will get wind and will start digging for “dirt” and material that will sell copies of their publication.
  • Do not discuss the details of your divorce with casual acquaintances. Only relay the facts to individuals on a “need to know basis,” which is limited to a very small pool of individuals.
  • Beware of discussing your divorce in public places where others can hear the conversation.
  • Do not badmouth your spouse or their divorce attorney, especially on social media.
  • Do not go on the record about your divorce without speaking to a divorce lawyer first.

Are Divorce Records Private in New York State?

While matrimonial records are not public, people can go to eLaw and run someone’s name. If the individual is divorced, the inquirer can see the case name, the county it was filed in, the index number, and the judge’s name. If someone wants to study the divorce file, they cannot because it is private; however, they can check the Clerk’s office records by following the above steps.

Related: 3 Ways a CEO Divorce Can Impact a Corporation

Essentially, a divorced status is public record, but the public does not have access to people’s matrimonial files unless they are one of the spouses, or one of the divorce attorneys on the case. Even still, your divorce is your business and it’s important to control what information is spread, so the impact on your image and career is minimized as much as possible.

Getting a high-profile divorce? The team at the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano can help you in this highly delicate endeavor – contact us today.