Steven Fernandez |

Divorce Process, Litigation

Are Divorce Documents Public Record?A divorce is a very personal and intimate thing to have to go through. Although it involves the legal process of a dissolution of marriage in California, it is still something very personal to your and your family. While your marriage is ending, you have to handle the business side of divorce, which involves dividing all community assets and debts, arranging for spousal support and scheduling your parental time with your child. These are all very personal aspects of a divorce.

Unfortunately, under California law, most court records, even family law records, are a matter of public record. In the tradition of population monitoring, marriage and divorce records are public. Keeping these kinds of record public also ensures transparency of the court system.

However, there are exceptions to this general rule. Records filed under a sealed cover are not accessible by the public. Certain family law documents containing sensitive information are generally filed under a sealed cover. These can include healthcare records, most financial documents, or anything with information identifying children or a victim of domestic or sexual violence. Similarly, the court will always seal documents regarding paternity. Outside of these commonly sealed documents, to seal other documents you must have court approval to do so. This can be obtained through a motion or application to seal.

Speak with an experienced family law attorney if you are concerned about your divorce documents being public record. There may be action you can take to seal all or some of your records. If you are unable to file a document under seal, you may be able to redact certain pieces of information such as bank account numbers and social security numbers. Redaction means sensitive information is marked out in certain documents, leaving only the pertinent information.

Today, redaction is a good way to prevent your bank account information from being publically available, protecting you, in part, from identify theft. With knowledgeable representation, your personal information can be protected during your divorce. General information in your court documents may still be a part of the public record, however, keep in mind the options you have to protect your most valuable information.

Are you in the Los Angeles area and have questions about the divorce process and privacy practices? Certified Family Law Specialist Steven Fernandez has experience representing high net-worth individuals and handling complex divorces in Los Angeles County. Serving the Los Angeles and Beverley Hills area, Steven Fernandez can ensure the safety of your personal information and reputation are not compromised in the divorce. Call our office at (310) 393-0236; email us at intake@cfli.com or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.

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