Are divorce records public?

| Oct 6, 2020 | Family Law

Divorcing is a situation where you want to keep things quiet and deal with them within your family. You may not want everyone to know about your situation. It is possible you want to avoid talking about it and feel that nobody knowing will help with that.

One thing you should know is that divorce by default is not private. According to FindLaw, your divorce will become part of the public record, which means anyone can access it easily.

Court records

In general, all court records become available to the public. It helps to keep the system transparent and allows the public to be a part of it. Not all information in your records will be made available to the public. The court may redact certain information, such as the names of any minors or other identifying information, such as Social Security numbers.

In cases where there is abuse, the court may redact additional identifying information, such as addresses. Typically, though, anything you see in your court papers will also be available for anyone else to see if they get a copy of the papers.

Exception

You can ask the court to seal your records. When this happens, it means they are not publicly available. The court must agree to do this. You may also need to petition the court jointly with your spouse.

The court will consider if disclosing your records to the public could cause potential damage to either of you. It will weigh whether the damage is more serious than the right of the public to have a transparent court system.

The court will most often agree to seal records if doing so will protect someone from violence, protect children or keep sensitive information private. It can seal the entire record or only parts of it, such as proprietary business information.

Categories

Archives