Public Divorce Records Open For Public Scrutiny

Regardless of the reason for a couple getting a divorce, it is only in rare instances where public divorce records will be sealed by the court. As in all matters in which a court creates and maintains a record of proceedings, all records pertaining to that proceeding are, by law, public records, available for scrutiny by anyone with an interest in the case. Although it is infrequent that a person will approach a court seeking public divorce records for someone with whom they have no ties, the records are available.

With most courts, a request merely needs to be filled out showing why the public divorce records are being sought and once approved, the records are made available. If a person wants to copy any part of the record, courts can charge a reasonable fee to do so. The original records are not permitted to leave the courthouse under any circumstances due to the law pertaining to their retention.

Many time public divorce records are sought for genealogy research as well as in helping to find parents of an adopted child. They can also be used to help with location services as well as to determine if a person has ever been married prior to seeking a license to marry again.

Nothing Stays Hidden In Family Courts

With the exception of matters pertaining to minor children, all public divorce records required to be maintained by the court, become part of an open book. Many politicians have found that being honest about their past relationships is the best policy, as lying about past marriages can easily be uncovered by perusing public divorce records. In today's electronic age, many public divorce records are available online.

While online public divorce records seldom divulge the reasons for divorce, they do provide a person a case number, which will be needed to visit the courthouse and request availability of public divorce records. Often times a new spouse will want to view the records of a pending new marriage partner and will look for reasons the first marriage ended as a preview of what they may be in store for in the future.

Trying to have specific information removed from public divorce records is virtually impossible as it requires as order by the court. Convincing a judge that something needs to made unavailable to a prying public usually requires petitioning the court and proving that its inclusion may present a danger to another person whether a party to the proceedings or not.