Why A Court May Agree To Seal Your Divorce Records

Divorce records are usually accessible to the public. However, this doesn't have to be the case if you have valid reasons for sealing your divorce records. Here are four reasons the divorce court may agree to seal your records:

Protect the Identity of the Victims

Whereas a typical divorce is between parents, issues sometimes arise that make the kids victims of the divorce. For example, during child custody deliberations, it might turn out that one of the parents was sexually abusing the kids. Now, such allegations have their place in the divorce process, but the allegations can hurt the victims further if exposed to the public.

Keep Financial and Sensitive Disclosures Private

Some level of financial disclosure is unavoidable during divorce. You will have to disclose all your sources of income, debts, expenses, assets, tax returns, bank accounts, and even inheritance. You can petition the court to seal this information if you don't want the public to access it. Some financial information, such as bank accounts, and some personal information, such as social security numbers, are also too sensitive to be exposed to the public.

To Prevent Disclosure of False Allegations

False allegations, even if they have been proven as such, can damage your reputation. This is especially true with allegations of crimes that the society considers heinous, such as sexual abuse of kids. Therefore, if you were accused of abusing your kids and it later turns out that your accuser was lying, the court can help you keep the information from the prying eyes of the public.

To Protect Proprietary Business Information

If you have a business, some of its proprietary information might come out during your divorce proceedings. This may happen, for example, when evaluating the worth of the business, its expenses, debts, and incomes. Unfortunately, if such information is accessed by the public, it can reach your competitors and ruin your business. Therefore, the court can agree to seal your divorce records so that the public doesn't access your secret formulas or production processes.

In most cases, the court will not seal divorce records automatically—you have to petition it for the service. You also need to provide a legally valid reason for the petition; frivolous reasons (such as your embarrassment) won't help you. Therefore, if you want to seal some information, tell your divorce attorney about it and let them come up with a legal basis for your request to boost your chances of success. 

For more information, contact local professionals like Finocchio & English.