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Can a Divorce Affect My Reputation?

There are many emotions that may be wrapped up in a divorce, and perhaps one of the most difficult to handle is shame. You might understand that a divorce is the best option for your family, but you might worry about what other people think. A failed relationship can be embarrassing, and there is no telling what family and friends will say about your situation behind your back. You might be especially worried about your reputation if you are an active member of the community. Perhaps you are a local business leader or a politician. But can a divorce really affect your reputation? What kinds of consequences might you experience due to this potential reputational loss?

Reputational Loss Due to Court Records

The most obvious way in which a divorce might affect your reputation is through publicly-available court records. If you choose a litigated divorce, the details of this legal process will go on public record. These records are available to anyone with an internet connection. If someone really wants to find out what happened during your divorce, they can access these details with enough time and determination. However, the chances of random people stumbling across your divorce records are slim. Therefore, these court records typically only affect your reputation with people you already know. Even then, family and friends rarely have the time or patience to research these court records.

The exception, of course, is if you are a public figure of some kind. If journalists or bloggers learn about your divorce, they may actively search for public records in order to write stories. They could find out financial information, such as the value of your real estate properties. They might also find out the reason for the divorce, various custody disputes, alimony demands, and so on. Many celebrities have faced “hit pieces” due to their litigated divorces going on public record. This is why many public figures choose to resolve their divorces behind closed doors, either by mediation or collaborative law.

Reputational Loss Due to Your Ex’s Statements

It is also possible to suffer a reputational loss due to your ex’s public statements. For example, they may make certain accusations on social media. While these statements may certainly be harmful, they are also ill-advised. Spouses who speak negatively about their exes publicly may face serious legal consequences as they move forward with the divorce process. Perhaps most notably, a spouse may experience disadvantages during custody battles after making negative statements about their exes.

Reputational Loss and Your Business

A blow to your reputation can be especially problematic if you have a family business. A divorce may affect your business in a number of ways. For example, you might lose part of your business due to the equitable distribution process. Even if your ex does not make negative statements about you in public, the mere existence of a divorce can cause investors and business partners to panic. This can easily cause a business to slide toward bankruptcy as investors withdraw funding while you simultaneously divide the business with your ex.

Reputational Loss Due to Emotional Impact

Finally, the emotional effects of a divorce can further compound your reputational loss. While dealing with the turmoil of an ending marriage, you may lose focus at work. You might start to struggle with issues like lateness or missing deadlines. Your mental health might slip, potentially leading to substance abuse or social withdrawal. Sometimes, parents struggle to look after their children as they deal with these emotional issues.

This can make a bad situation worse, causing your reputation to slip further among your friends, family, and work colleagues. It is imperative that you maintain your mental health during this difficult time. You may also benefit from establishing a clear, effective action plan with a divorce attorney. This can give you a sense of confidence about the future.

Where Can I Find an Experienced Divorce Attorney in North Carolina?

If you are worried about how a divorce might affect your reputation, your best bet is to get in touch with an experienced divorce attorney in North Carolina. Choose Arnold & Smith, PLLC, and you can discuss your concerns in more detail during a consultation. We can help you explore numerous strategies for protecting your reputation during a divorce, including collaborative law. Keeping your divorce off the public record is just one example of how you can mitigate the potential effects of this legal process. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective action plan.