Once a divorce is completed, many clients ask are San Diego divorce records public or private and how do we protect private, financial and sensitive information? Once your divorce has been finalized in San Diego, the Court provides the records to the appropriate agencies who publicly file the record(s). The default filing status for divorce records in California is public.
The reason it is important to ask what makes San Diego divorce records public or private is anyone can obtain a copy of your public divorce record(s). In most cases, this means every document filed during the divorce (along with all of the information asserted or disclosed in that document) will be included in the final record of the divorce.
This can include, but is not limited to:
- Private information about your children’s lives
- Detailed information about a Business or Professional Practice including valuation and important related financials
- Allegations of an affair or the sordid details of any dispute between the former spouses
- Details about investment and retirement accounts or other financial data
Unfortunately it doesn’t matter if the former spouses agree upon whether to make their San Diego divorce records public or private. We are often asked if it is possible to seal these sensitive records in whole or in part. Here in California, an order from the Court must be issued to seal part or all of an otherwise public record. Even if both parties wish for the records to be private the Court must agree and issue orders to seal your records. There are specific, complicated legal issues surrounding the types of information which can be sealed.
There is also an issue of the accessibility of information which was previously publicly released that is still available from some sources even after the Judge has ordered records to be sealed.
One of the best strategies in most divorce cases is mediation. Mediation is a private and confidential legal venue. What happens in mediation, stays in mediation. Information presented in mediation cannot simply be used as evidence in a subsequent hearing or proceeding in the divorce. If you are concerned about what makes San Diego divorce records public or private you should ask the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq about all options to protect your privacy and interests, including mediation.