Gathering relevant financial documents is an essential part of preparing for divorce. These documents help identify assets and liabilities, ensuring that both parties receive their portion of the marital property. But while these documents might help uncover property that is subject to division, they may also reveal important private financial information. In Texas, a confidentiality agreement can prevent a former spouse from revealing anything to other people.
It is not uncommon for spouses to discover financial information that they did not have access to prior to divorce. This is particularly common for those who are married to business owners. Proprietary information is often key to the success of a business, but company finances, client data and other documents are routinely disclosed during divorce.
In general, a confidentiality agreement only allows access to private financial documents to the divorcing parties, the court and others who are directly involved. Both parties to the proceeding should acknowledge that the information is to stay private, and that sharing it with anyone would cause harm. To make the agreement as clear as possible, the agreement should outline the consequences of either party breaching protected information. Financial penalties are not uncommon.
It is not necessary to include every last piece of financial information in a confidentiality agreement. For example, statements for personal bank accounts are usually left out of these agreements, as it is not necessary to make every last bit of financial information confidential. Discerning between the information that should and should not be included is not always easy, though. Indeed, it can be quite difficult for someone who is navigating both a divorce and a business at the same time. Texas residents who are facing this situation would be well advised to seek expert guidance early on in the divorce process.