Atlanta, GA- If you’re getting a divorce and must resolve your case in court, you may realize that your proceedings will become a matter of public record. For many, that is a daunting prospect, because no one really wants their private issues to be aired in public.
Keeping court records under seal
In the interest of transparency, Atlanta’s courts don’t put court records under seal, but a divorcing couple can request the records be made private. Ultimately, it is up to a judge to decide if your divorce is sealed. Divorce courts look at several factors to determine if records could be sealed including whether the disclosure of the documents would do damage to either spouse and whether that damage outweighs the public’s demand for transparency.
Why seal divorce records?
It’s common for celebrities to ask divorce records be sealed. Take Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for instance. The couple is enmeshed in a very contentious divorce with accusations of child abuse and drug use flying around, and efforts on Pitt’s behalf to keep the details of their divorce private, according to Fox News. Celebrities have a public persona, and their careers could take a hit if aspects of their personal lives come to light.Reasons to seal a divorce record include concealing the identity of a child or keeping sensitive information from becoming public.
It’s common for celebrities to ask for divorce records, but what about you everyday couple? Why would they need to keep a divorce record sealed? A spouse can request a divorce record to be sealed for the following reasons:
The to keep the identity of children confidential
To protect the victims of domestic violence
To keep information like social security numbers and bank account numbers secret
To keep false allegations out of the public record
Or, to protect proprietary business information.
Courts care more about transparency
Transparency is of utmost importance to the courts, and it is a benefit to the public. Public court records give the public insight into what happens in various courts and what information has an impact on court decisions. When someone wants to have court records sealed, they have to prove their privacy is more important than transparency and that can be a heavy lift without a divorce attorney in Atlanta, Georgia working on your request.
A couple will have a greater chance of getting divorce records sealed by narrowing down the request. Instead of asking everything be sealed, a couple should ask for sensitive information to be redacted. It is much easier to get documents redacted than it is to get the entirety of a case sealed.
Once your divorce records are sealed, anyone who would like to see them must ask a judge to unseal the documents, but they must present a compelling argument about why disclosure is necessary.
You face a serious legal challenge trying to get a court record sealed. USAttorneys recommends you speak with a divorce lawyer in Atlanta to discuss the challenges your divorce will present, and help you overcome them. Call and set up a consultation today.