As many famous people can tell you, having a divorce tried in the court of public opinion is no fun. Just ask Johnny Depp, Ronald Perelman and Donald Trump. The book I am working on right now, How to Divorce Part 3, has a chapter on how to manage your divorce when it is being tried in the court of public opinion. My sense is that it is a mistake for non-celebrities to think that their divorce could not go viral. In the social media era, I think it is just as likely for a non-celebrity to become infamous because of their divorce as it is for a beloved movie star to suffer damage to their reputation because of a particularly public divorce. I wrote in part this morning:
The court of public opinion can be a very dangerous, effective and potent solution to a difficult divorce negotiation. However, it is a balancing act between the right to privacy, specifically in matrimonial affairs, the quest for the upper hand of one or both parties, and the public’s right to scrutinize judicial proceedings.
As noted, celebrities and newsworthy individuals are most likely to find contested divorces and its intimate details splashed out on the front pages of every news media outlet, and therefore subject to the court of public opinion most often than other people. It is folly to think that this only happens to celebrities, however. Just like social media can produce a Justin Bieber, so too can it produce an infamous divorcée who forever hangs her head in shame for things that were divulged when her divorce went “viral.” Excerpted from How to Divorce Part 3 by Lawyer X (available starting August 23 2016 on Kindle)
One of the things I suggest as far as controlling a monster such as this, is for couples to try the art of compromise where possible. It is usually stubbornness on one or both sides to blows a divorce into the public sphere, where nobody wins.