Divorce is a word that many people seem to cringe at. Divorce proceedings can be a very personal event in a person’s life. They may not want to share it with everyone. But little do most people know that a divorce record is not private after all. It stands the chance to be shared with anyone who may want to know about the details. One of the only times that it is sealed is when dealing with the identification of children and victims of sexual abuse. The other time when the record is not seen by the public is when both parties, or one individual, requests the court to seal the information of the divorce because of sensitive information found in the proceedings. This is rarely done because:
they do not know that the record is made public they don’t care who sees their personal information
Although, for the most part, the details are out there for anyone to see. You could go down to your local court house and request to see the findings of any public divorce. The information found in a divorce record may be entirely sealed, while sometimes only parts of the divorce are closed off to the public. The court has the final say in whether or not specific information or details will be sealed or made public. The judge decides if the information of the split is sensitive enough to need to be protected. Or the judge decides that the case should be open to the scrutiny of the public.
There are several reasons that an individual would want their public record to be sealed from the public. As stated above, the individual may want to protect the identity of a child. While another reason may be that domestic violence was involved. Surprisingly, another reason to seal a case is the information, such as personal bank accounts or social security numbers. This is done so theft and identity fraud is kept from happening in the future, after the split. One party may resent the other party and they may want to use that information to hurt the other party. Still, individuals may want to protect propriety business information, such as trade secrets, secret formulas, or methods of production. Another reason might be that false allegations may not want to be put out there, in protection of an individual’s reputation and credentials. The courts will not seal a record if it is just a little embarrassment that might occur, so it will be a public divorce record.
As there are many reasons for the information to be sealed there are also reasons for it to be made public. Transparency into court proceedings is a benefit to having the records made to be made public. An individual may be studying public divorce records and would like to see how a judge comes to the conclusion or decision in the proceedings. What kind of information helped the judge decide one way or the other? Many individuals want to make sure that the system and court are being fair in their judgement. That is a great reason to have a public divorce record. Sometimes after an individual’s parents die the individual may want to see why their parents divorced in the first place. That is where public divorce records come in. The family secret that was so secret is no longer taboo.
There are several ways to procure a public record. You can head down to your local court house and request to see certain files. There is no way to know if they charge you for these records or not. Another way to obtain a public divorce record is online, but this commonly tends to be a bit harder to do. Many individuals will more than likely hire a professional to dig up the information. Unfortunately, this can be costly.
Information that can be found in a public divorce record are names, dates of birth, and age. Maybe you want to go back and remember who married you in the first place. Or let us say you want to find financial information. You can access all this information from a public divorce record. Some reasons you may want to access a public record is that you are seeking out a potential spouse for the future. A public divorce record can show if there was a history of violence or what the main reason for the split was in the first place. Not many people think about this information, but after reading this article maybe you will look up your spouse’s record, especially to find out if they are still married or not. If they are, it is illegal to remarry without being divorced first. So, if you find yourself not being able to find the information you’re looking for, it is a high possibility that they are still married. Maybe your parents divorced before you were born and you wanted to know who a certain birth parent was, a public record could be very helpful, especially if you are looking up genealogy or the health history of your family. You could be thinking about having a baby and you don’t want to worry that they would be prone to some family medical concern.
So if you are getting a divorce or thinking of getting a divorce, it is important to realize that the information of the proceedings will be out there for everyone to see. Divorce is not such a private matter after all. Any Jane, Dick, or Harry could look up your information. I’ve never looked up my information, but I think it would be interesting to see what it has say and to see what everyone else is seeing. A public divorce record could almost be as important as any other public record out there, such as marriage, criminal records, etc. Most people do not know that divorce records are made public so there is little chance of a stranger looking up your information. You can sleep a little easier knowing that your personal life is more than likely unseen by the public. If by chance someone does look up your information, then it is what it is. Either way you now know what a public divorce record is.