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Should You Worry About the Privacy of Your Divorce Record?

 Posted on November 07, 2019 in Divorce

Should You Worry About the Privacy of Your Divorce Record?Many people do not realize that the court hearings for their divorce are part of the public record, meaning that anyone can access records on your divorce after it is completed. Everything you say during the hearings and the various documents that you submit is part of that public record. With records being digitized, it is more convenient for people to request and receive court records. If you are concerned about your privacy, you should discuss with your attorney whether you can seal your divorce record from the public.

What Is in the Record?

Your public divorce record does not include sensitive information such as your Social Security Number or bank account numbers. However, it may include details that are professionally damaging or personally embarrassing, such as:

  • Your financial history and debt record
  • Your business assets and interests
  • Admissions of substance abuse or mental health problems
  • Accusations of domestic violence or child abuse
  • Personal arguments between you and your spouse

All of this is information that could hurt you if someone such as a potential employer discovered it when conducting a background check on you.

Who Is Most Concerned?

Many divorcees do not worry about their divorce record being public because it is unlikely that anyone would be interested in the facts of their divorce. Public figures are at the greatest risk of someone requesting their divorce record in search of scandalous information. The public images of celebrities and politicians have been tarnished because an interested journalist gained access to their divorce records. Business owners may also be concerned about a competitor using information from the divorce record to learn more about their business and how it operates.

Sealing Your Records

You can request that the judge seal parts of your divorce record from the public, though the judge has the ability to deny your request. Illinois law requires court records to remain public information unless there is a compelling reason why they should be sealed. With divorce records, you need to prove that the damage you would suffer by allowing the divorce record to be public is greater than the need to protect the public’s right to access the information. The law is worded vaguely enough that each judge may have their own interpretation of whether a portion of your divorce record should be sealed.

Contact a Naperville, Illinois, Divorce Attorney

There is certain information from your divorce that no one needs to know other than you and your spouse. A DuPage County divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can protect that information by settling the issue outside of court or arguing that it be sealed from the public. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-393-3111.


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