Q: Are divorce records a matter of public record?
If you’re considering getting divorced in Arizona, there are many things to be concerned about. First, there may be emotional issues surrounding the end of the marriage and uncertainty about the future. Then, there are the legal issues to address.
Among the many factors that must be resolved in a divorce are issues like division of the couple’s marital property, child custody and support (if there are minor children of the marriage), and spousal maintenance, just to name a few. With all that on their minds, people may not realize that divorce records are public records in most states, including Arizona. That means that anyone may be able to access documents that parties would prefer were kept private.
In states where divorce records are public, divorce documents can be sealed upon filing a petition to seal the records with the court. The chances of the motion being granted may be greater if the request is limited to selected records, rather than all records. But even if both spouses join together in their request to seal their records, the judge may deny the petition.
Examples of divorce records that might be sealed
The court recognizes that transparency rules when it comes to the judicial system. Therefore, there is a preference is given to keeping records open to the public rather than sealing them. But the following documents in a divorce case are more likely to be kept private upon a motion to seal:
- financial information
- psychological evaluations
- child abuse descriptions,
- domestic violence
- paternity issues
- other proprietary, private, with sensitive information.
It’s important to find a Phoenix divorce attorney who is not only knowledgeable in the process of navigating such sensitive issues but is compassionate enough to guide you through every step of the process.
If you are considering getting divorced, have been served with divorce papers, or have any questions regarding a family law matter, the experts at Cohen Family Law can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.
From our office in Phoenix, we represent clients throughout Arizona in all aspects of family law and are well-versed in conflict resolution whether through mediation, arbitration, or when necessary, litigation. Family law is all we do and we’re here for you when you need us.