High net worth divorces often involve high-profile individuals. This fact naturally leads to greater public interest in the outcome. Since divorce records are public (assuming you don’t take advantage of some of the more discreet options we’ve discussed previously, such as mediation or using a private judge), they can be accessed by anyone. However, they may not include all of the details of the case. Further, the court may decide on request to seal certain divorce records—either in part or in full.
Motion to seal divorce records
Both parties must agree to move forward with a motion to seal their divorce records from the public, and the judge must approved this motion. To win, you and your spouse must provide valid reasons and evidence that sealing the records will protect certain parties from undeserved consequences. Here are some examples of valid reasons to seal divorce records:
- To protect the identities of any children involved
- To conceal proprietary information relating to a company
- To protect victims of domestic violence
- To prevent instigation of false allegations
Keep in mind that the court may decide only to redact as much information as is necessary to fulfill the terms of the request. For example, if the motion is filed to protect the identities of children involved, the court may only redact the portion of the case regarding child custody. It is more common for a court to approve partially-sealed documents, rather than sealing the entire record.
After the fact
Although sealing records is an effective preventative measure, there isn’t a whole lot that can be done after the fact. The applicable legal consequences of leaking your divorce records will depend on the nature of the leak—who obtained the records, how they were obtained, and the subsequent damage caused. The Law Offices of Silky Sahnan can help you gather the appropriate information to make your case and pursue action against anyone who violates your rights.
For insight into how to obtain fair results regarding your California high net worth divorce, please call the Law Offices of Silky Sahnan at 888-228-1098 to set up a confidential consultation with our team.