Divorce records are public records. In most cases, the testimony that occurs during a divorce trial is also public record. This is one reason why some people opt to work things out in private. When you and your ex can come to a divorce settlement in private, such as in informal talks or mediation, you can avoid having to air out all the dirty laundry in a public manner.
There are some instances in which it just isn’t possible to work things out with your ex. You might have to go through a trial. If you are dreading this because you don’t want certain things to be entered into public record, it might be possible to have the trial record sealed.
If a petition to seal the divorce record is approved, the public won’t be able to look at the information that was presented during the trial. This goes against the presumption that court records should be public records, but courts do have the right to grant these petitions in some cases.
There are a few reasons that might be cited for sealing records. One of the biggest ones is trying to protect children. Oftentimes, the children’s names are presented during the trial. Parents might not want the identity of the children known. Other reasons for records to be sealed include protecting business secrets, victims of domestic violence or financial information.
If you think that you will end up having to go through a trial for your divorce, you should find out if you have the basis for seeking the records to be sealed. This might help provide you with some peace of mind as you deal with an already difficult situation.
Source: FindLaw, “Divorce Records and Privacy,” accessed June 08, 2017