Bentley divorce records sealed — Huntsville lawyer says that’s not a surprising move


Dianne and Robert Bentley

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. - On August 28, Alabama First Lady Dianne Bentley filed for divorce from Governor Robert Bentley.  However, the pair has been separated since January of this year.

The governor is vowing to not let the divorce become a distraction from the issues facing the state, including the lack of a budget.  But when all eyes are on you, a divorce becomes a public affair.

Divorce is rarely easy.  "It's a highly emotional type of law," said Jonathan Lusk, a Huntsville attorney who practices family and divorce law.

So it's no wonder the high-profile divorce of a Republican governor of a deep red state is a magnet for scrutiny and criticism.  On Friday, Governor Robert Bentley issued a statement asking the public to respect his and Dianne's privacy.

Monday, a judge sealed the divorce files.   Lusk says that's hardly surprising.

"The higher the profile the case, the more of a privacy concern you would have," said Lusk.

Lusk isn't representing either party in this case, but he's represented some high-profile clients before.

"If bloggers or people in the media try to dig up facts and so forth, it's possible they could dig up facts the opposing spouse was not aware of," said Lusk.

It's something lawyers can use to their advantage, but it's rarely pleasant for the parties involved.

Monday, Gov. Bentley spoke to members of his cabinet regarding plans for the special legislative session in September.  The governor did not directly mention the divorce in his remarks, but did say he was being "shot at" by political enemies as he pushes for $300 million in tax increases.