Divorce Records: Private or Public?
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After a divorce has been finalized, the court will then hand the divorce
records over to the state. The state will then file the records as either
public or private. In California, the default filing procedure for divorce
records is to make them public.
Public divorce records mean that anyone can obtain a copy of the decree.
California provides two kinds of certified copies – authorized and
informational. Authorized copies are only for those listed on the certificate
or for the defending attorney. Informational copies are not intended to
Copies of divorce decrees in California are available from the Superior
Court in the county where the divorce was filed. In some cases, every
document filed during the divorce case will be included along with the
final record of divorce.
If you are uncomfortable with your personal information being available
to the public, you may desire to pursue the process of having them sealed.
Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to seal
divorce records in California.
In order to seal your divorce records, a court order is required. A court
order will not be given simply because both you and your spouse agree
to the sealing process. You are required to file an application with reasons
that will justify your request.
If your application is accepted, the court will send a written order to
the California Department of Public Health. From this point on, your divorce
records will not be available to the public.
When you file your sealing request, the court will be more inclined to
approve your application if the records include financial details or other
private information that should not be disclosed.
It is important to retain the counsel of an experienced Orange County divorce
lawyer before proceeding with your application. Our firm has been actively
representing divorce cases for over 30 years and our seasoned lawyers
can help you achieve sealed records. Call our firm for more information!
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