Court records are accessible by the public. While not everyone may have access to court information from their computer, one may be able to go to the courthouse to obtain certain documents or pleadings about a particular case. For many parties in family law matters, privacy is important. Whether parties are discussing finances or child custody, they may not want their information released to the public.
If you are wondering how to protect your privacy amidst a custody or divorce matter, it is always best to consult with an attorney. Your attorney can instruct you of the best practices for maintaining your privacy during your family law matter.
Privacy of Meditation
Mediation is considered an alternative dispute resolution method. Mediation means both parties willing agree to utilize a “mediator,” who is a neutral family law attorney, to help settle the case and draft a settlement. Mediation is considered to be a more discreet and private process than proceeding with ligation.
Privacy through Confidential Court Filings
There are two different types of filing for court pleadings. You can file them as “Public” or “Confidential.” The court will only allow you to file confidential documents as confidential. This means only court employees can view the document. For example, the court considers the following information confidential to the public:
- Social Security Numbers
- Employer Identification Numbers
- Financial account numbers
- Income tax returns
- W-2 forms
- Pay statements
- Credit card statements, and
- Other financial source documents.
Privacy of Sealed Divorce Records
All court records are public unless the parties specifically ask that they be sealed. A judge will be the final determiner for if a record can be sealed. Courts are more likely to seal records for some of the following reasons to:
- Protect victims of domestic violence
- Protect confidential business information
- Protect confidential information
- Protect the children
If you are considering having your records sealed or wondering how to protect your privacy during a divorce, contact our office. Our experienced divorce attorneys are ready to create the best strategy for your matter. Call our office at (763) 323-6555 or submit an online contact inquiry request through our website to schedule your consultation today.