Sealing Public Divorce Records
Many divorcing couples are surprised to learn that divorce records, like any other court document, are available to the public in Florida. This means that anyone who wants to obtain your divorce records, can do so. Fortunately, it is possible to seal divorce records in some cases, so if you are concerned about the information in your own Florida divorce becoming public knowledge, it is important to speak with an experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer about your options for sealing those records.
How to Seal Divorce Records
It is not uncommon for personal or sensitive information to come to light during divorce. For those who believe that this information could have a harmful effect on themselves, a former partner, or the couple’s child, should consider having those records sealed. The process of sealing divorce records is, however, pretty complicated and will require the person petitioning the court to provide proof that making the information available to the general population would be harmful.
Who Should Consider Sealing Their Records?
Certain individuals, especially those who are in the public eye, may want to consider sealing their divorce records. This is a relatively common occurrence when one of the parties to the divorce is a celebrity, politician, or a high-ranking member of the community. Petitioners also have a better chance of having their records sealed if their divorce transcripts contain certain information, including details of domestic violence or child abuse, or information about one of the party’s struggle with mental illness or addiction, which could have harmful repercussions if disclosed to the general public. Proof that public exposure of divorce records could financially harm one or both spouses could also be enough to convince a judge to seal a couple’s divorce records.
Redacting Your Divorce Record
Even if a person’s request to seal a divorce record is unsuccessful, couples will still have the option of asking the court to redact certain information from their court transcripts. In fact, some sensitive information, including financial information, will automatically be redacted from divorce records. Judges are also willing, however, upon petition, to remove other types of confidential information, such as Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, business information, the names of the couple’s children, as well as their birth dates, and credit card numbers. It’s important to note that even if a judge agrees to redact confidential information from divorce records, any remaining information will be left untouched, and so will still be accessible to the public.
Set Up an Initial Consultation Today
If you are concerned about the information that was disclosed at your divorce trial and want to have certain details redacted from the record, or have questions about sealing your record entirely, you’ll most likely need the help of an experienced divorce lawyer. Speak with dedicated Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. to learn more about preparing and filing a motion to seal your own divorce records. Call our office at 954-945-7591 to discuss your case or send us an online message and a member of our legal team will help you set up a free consultation today.