Divorce court weds power and privacy

Judges help the wealthy and well-connected, from lawmakers to a billionaire CEO, keep their family matters secret in Cook County

By Cynthia Dizikes and Todd Lighty, Chicago Tribune reporters 11:50 a.m. CDT, April 28, 2013

J.F.’s marriage was crumbling in 2010, but he didn’t want that public.

J.F. is a well-known Chicago politician, and when he and his wife ended up in divorce court, he asked that their names be kept secret to avoid a “media frenzy.”

Despite a rich tradition of openness in the U.S. court system, a Cook County judge allowed the couple to hash out the divorce privately, using just their initials: J.F. and K.F., case number 2010-D-3922.

Divorce court weds power and privacy