In Illinois, and in most states, divorce records are publicly available. In order to access somebody’s divorce records, all you have to do is walk into the Courthouse, pay a small fine, and receive copies of the documents. Understandably, some divorcing spouses are concerned about this.
Divorce documents may include significant personal information, including detailed financial disclosures. Fortunately, you have the right to ask the Court to seal your divorce records and prevent them from being accessed by others.
Common Reasons You May Want to Seal Your Divorce Records
The most common reason that an individual wishes to seal their divorce records is to ensure their privacy. Divorce paperwork includes private information that is nobody else’s business. Unfortunately, neighbors, family, friends, or even coworkers may be curious about the details of somebody’s divorce. Privacy is an especially crucial matter if an individual is well-known in the community.
Sometimes, divorce records need to be sealed because of safety concerns. For example, a victim of domestic violence may be worried about his or her abuser finding information about where he or she lives and works. This is also a common concern for celebrities and other public figures.
Business owners may wish to seal their divorce records because there is valuable financial information that their competitors could use against them. Individuals working in the financial sector may also worry about their financial information being leaked to the public. Consider a financial advisor who is struggling with overwhelming debt. If his clients or colleagues discovered information about his personal financial situation, this could significantly impact his career.
The Court Requires Sufficient Justification to Seal a Divorce Record
In order for an Illinois Court to seal someone’s divorce records, the person requesting sealing must provide sufficient reasoning to the Court. Consider working with an experienced divorce attorney who can help you understand your rights and the best way to request record sealing. Once divorce records are sealed, anyone who wishes to access the document will need to get a Court order to do so.
Contact our Palatine Divorce Lawyer
Divorce records are available to the public. If you are worried about other people accessing your personal information through your divorce records, it may be a good idea to get the records sealed.
At the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C., we recognize that confidentiality and privacy are major concerns during a divorce. This is especially true if either spouse is well-known in the community or has special circumstances that require privacy. Our Palatine divorce attorney Nicholas W. Richardson can help you take the necessary steps during your divorce and after the divorce is finalized to protect sensitive information.