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Is there a way to keep your public divorce more private?

You, like most other Oregon residents, value your privacy. When facing a serious predicament in your life, you would rather not become the topic of gossip or have others stick their noses into your business. Unfortunately, some events become more public than you may have desired.

One life-change that could quickly draw attention is getting divorced. Typically, the information revealed during divorce cases becomes part of the public record. As a result, other individuals, even strangers, could access personal information about you. Is there anything you can do to prevent that?

Sealing records

In some cases, individuals may have the opportunity to file certain records under seal. This action means that the information in the sealed records is not available for public perusal. However, you cannot simply request that the entirety of your divorce is out of the public eye. The court must approve a request to seal records, and if your request is too broad, you can likely expect a denial of that request. Additionally, you need a valid reason for filing records under seal.

Depending on the specifics of your case, you may feel you have a valid reason for this privacy request. Still, it is up to the court to decide whether you actually do. Some common reasons for filing divorce records under seal include the following:

  • To keep sensitive and personal information out of the public record, including bank account numbers, Social Security numbers and other similar details
  • To keep the identities of your children, if you have any, out of the public record
  • To protect any proprietary information associated with your business, such as trade secrets
  • To protect individuals who have suffered from domestic violence

Again, you may have a reason of your own to present to the court in efforts to maintain your privacy during divorce, and these examples listed here certainly do not cover every reason that a court could approve.

Gaining more information

If you believe that making a privacy request to file certain divorce records under seal could suit your case, you may want to discuss this possible option with your attorney. This legal professional will undoubtedly have further insight into how sealing divorce records occurs and whether you may have an appropriate reason to make this request. Having this information may allow you to feel more at ease as your case moves forward.