If you decide it’s in your best interest to seal your divorce record, our Charlotte family law attorneys can help you through the process. We provide attentive legal support to help you make it through this difficult time as painlessly as possible. Contact us online or give us a call at (704) 659-0007 to schedule a consultation today.
In most cases, divorce hearings and records are public. In certain situations, it is possible to seal a divorce record to maintain privacy. Learn why you might want to consider sealing your divorce record and how to go about doing so.
Why Should I Seal My Divorce Record?
Most state governments have an open judicial system, which means someone could head to the courthouse and search for your divorce record if they wanted to. However, many states keep sensitive information private, including certain financial information and domestic violence findings. Additionally, courts typically refer to children by their initials, and certain identifying information like birthdays and social security numbers are kept private.
If you’re interested in completely sealing your divorce record, you must provide a reason to the courts. The list below includes some of the most common reasons people seal a divorce record.
- Child or sexual abuse. The divorce record may be sealed in cases involving child or sexual abuse to protect the identity of the victim.
- Spouse’s mental illness or addictions. If your spouse has a mental illness or an addiction, the courts may consider sealing the divorce record to keep that information private.
- Libel. If a public divorce record may reveal false allegations that could damage your reputation, a court may seal the divorce record.
How Do I Seal My Divorce Record?
If your divorce record involves one of the three reasons listed above, you may have a compelling case to seal your divorce record. No matter the situation, a judge will have to agree with your argument to keep the records private rather than uphold the public’s right to information. In most states, you’ll file a motion that explains why it’s necessary to keep your divorce record private. Most often, you’ll have to demonstrate “good cause” that your reputation, privacy, or employment will be harmed unless the records are sealed.