The last thing we want when going through a tough break-up, is to have to battle it out in front of a packed courtroom. However, once a party files for divorce, one’s personal financial information and custody battles becomes public record as a matter of law. The public (including your creditors, the media, or maybe that one nosy neighbor) now has a right to view all documents you file with the Court as well as attend your Court proceedings. Understandably, there are some instances where parties may not want their financial information or other aspects of their case to be public.
Perhaps you are a public figure who is concerned how divulging personal or private information could affect your career or image. Or maybe your child has an IED in place or receives state benefits for a disability and you have legitimate concern that (mis)information alleged by your spouse may limit the services available to your kids. Alternatively, perhaps you and your spouse own a business and are engaged in protracted litigation and do not want certain business information disseminated. In these circumstances, you have a few options on how to proceed:
- File a Confidential Marital Settlement Agreement and/or Request File be Sealed
--Benefits –Portions of the file can be sealed from public access; Specifically, sensitive financial information.
--Drawbacks – Highly procedural; Even if both sides agree, the court may deny the request. ‘Freedom of Press’ often prevails over ‘Right to Privacy.’
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