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Requesting to file divorce records under seal

You may have always considered yourself a private person. You shared aspects of your life with people close to you, with your business associates when necessary and your spouse. However, you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, and you may fear that your privacy will no longer exist during the legal proceedings.

In divorce proceedings, information and documents do become part of the public record. As a result, almost anyone could access previously disclosed information regarding your life and your business during your marriage dissolution process. Before you resign yourself to such exposure, you may find it interesting to know that you could request to have your divorce records filed under seal.

Sealing records

When one seals divorce records -- or any legal records for that matter -- the information does not become a part of the public record. This outcome may be particularly interesting to individuals who believe that they have confidential or sensitive information that should remain private. In some cases, the court will only file a portion of the records under seal, or it could seal all of the records. It is important to remember that the court could also deny a request to seal records.

Requesting record sealing

Because a judge must approve a request for filing divorce records under seal, you need a strong reason for making this request. As a business owner, one reason to request this privacy could relate to the need to protect sensitive business information. Other reasons to make this request include the following:

  • Needing to keep personal or financial information private, such as Social Security numbers or bank account information
  • Needing to protect children from having their identities exposed in divorce files
  • Needing to protect individuals who have suffered from domestic violence
  • Needing to prevent false allegation from becoming public knowledge and potentially damaging someone's reputation.

Generally, the court needs to see that a certain type of harm would result from denying the request for filing records under seal.

Learning more about privacy

As your divorce case moves forward, you may want to gain more information on the possibility of record sealing and other ways in which you may have the ability to keep matters more private. Discussing this topic with a Utah divorce attorney may allow you to better understand the privacy options available to you and to understand the process of making privacy requests to the court.

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