You, like most other Utah residents, undoubtedly value your privacy. You do not feel the need to poke your nose into the personal goings-on in other people’s lives, and you hope that others would provide you the same courtesy. Of course, now that you are getting a divorce, you worry about your personal information becoming public knowledge.
It is true the information in public divorce cases become part of the public record. The idea of interested parties having access to such information may make you squirm. As a result, you may wonder whether you have options for better maintaining your privacy during this time.
Filing under seal
The chance does exist that the court could file certain information pertaining to your divorce under seal. This means that the information would not go into the public record. However, you do not simply get to decide that you want the entirety of your case filed under seal. You must make a petition to the court for this privacy privilege, and the judge involved in your case will determine whether to allow it.
What information stays private?
Again, records do not go under seal just because you want them to. The court will consider the sensitive nature of the information and decide whether keeping it private has more importance than opening the information to public scrutiny. Some information commonly granted this privacy includes the following:
- Proprietary business information, such as trade secrets
- The identities of minor children
- Personal information like social security numbers and financial account information
- The identities of domestic violence victims
- Potentially libelous or reputation-damaging information
If you own a business, maintaining a certain amount of privacy may be of the utmost importance to you. However, you may need to carefully pick the information you want kept under seal. A judge may have a greater likelihood of granting your petition if you provide a narrow request rather than trying to conceal more information than strictly necessary during your divorce.
Gaining more information
If the idea of maintaining your privacy and keeping sensitive information out of the public record interests you, you may want to discuss this topic with a knowledgeable attorney. Your legal counsel can advise you on how you can best present your case for privacy and help you with other important matters relating to your divorce proceedings.