Public Access to Your Divorce Case Records - Bineham & Gillen

divorcePublic Access to Your Divorce Case Records

November 15, 2021by Bineham & Gillen Law

Filing for a divorce is stressful. There are a lot of steps involved, which means there are a lot of questions to ask. Have you asked this one: What information becomes public access and what is kept a secret during a divorce case?

Here at Bineham & Gillen, we are experts when it comes to all things related to divorce. Here is everything you need to know about your divorce records.

What Is A Divorce Certificate?

One of the most requested certificates, a divorce certificate certifies that all parties have consensually agreed to a divorce. The document includes:

  • A statement that two people have gotten divorced
  • Where they got divorced
  • And the date and time that the divorce was finalized

Public vs. Private Records

In most cases, it’s a safe bet to assume that your finalized divorce case will be made available as public records. Some records can be requested to stay ‘sealed,’ which means they can only be viewed with a legal court order. Here is the breakdown of what qualifies for each and how they are public or private:

Public Access

All public records filed with a public court or office are considered for public access. You can access all public records that went through the court system through PACER, which stands for Public Access to Court Electronic Records. There is a fee to get those records.

Each part of the official case is made available to the public. This means some aspects that are not deemed official won’t be filed, like phone calls and emails to your lawyer.

Private Access

If a divorce case contains details about abuse, children, or an event that has sensitive information that could lead to misinformation through the public, you can request that this information stay sealed from the public record. This means no one in the public can view them, even for a certain cost. Someone would need to go through the courts to be able to view these.

How Do You Get Your Records Sealed?

If you think your case should be sealed from public view, some steps need to be taken to make this official. Keep in mind, though, that the court may not deem it necessary to keep your records sealed. The first step in this process includes filing a motion that outlines why you think your documents should remain private.

When Will I Need These Records?

If you are preparing to get married and have previously been divorced, then you are going to need your divorce certificate. This document is required so it can be certified the divorce has been processed through all the necessary legal proceedings. 

If you want more information on divorce records or need help accessing your records, don’t hesitate to contact us at Bineham & Gillen

Here at Bineham & Gillen, we’ve seen many types of divorce scenarios and can help you get your records. We can also help with the division of assets, make sure child support payments are fair, get you a temporary restraining order and more. 

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