When undergoing a divorce, you might be concerned about your family’s privacy regarding your legal matters. In the age of technology, it can be easy to access the information you need. But can your family or even acquaintances access your divorce records? In this blog, our Norman divorce attorneys at Redhawk Law share what you should understand about the privacy of your divorce.
Divorce Records Can Be Accessed By The General Public
In Oklahoma, divorce records are classified as public records, which the general public can access. This means that members of the general public can view and access divorce records for any case that is not sealed; however, they cannot retain certified copies of divorce decrees. If you wish to obtain a certified copy of a divorce decree, you must have been involved with the case, including either party in the case, their adult children, their parent or guardians, and their attorneys.
Those who wish to access divorce records can visit the county clerk’s office of the jurisdiction where the divorce took place. There, a copy can be accessed, or a certified copy can be requested by one of the individuals listed above.
Protections for Those Involved
If you wish for privacy in your family law matters, you and your former spouse can create an agreement to seal your divorce records, causing them to have restricted access. For the divorce records to be sealed, both parties must jointly file a motion requesting the sealing of their divorce record and outlining the grounds for the sealing.
Divorce records are often sealed if they contain information regarding:
- Incidences of domestic abuse or the identities of domestic violence victims
- Identifying information about minors
- False information that could harm others if it enters the public domain
- Trade secrets or information that could jeopardize national security
- Sensitive personal or business information
Divorce records do not need to reach all five categories above; however, if your records include information regarding at least one of the outlined categories, it may benefit your motion for sealing. Motions for sealing only selected portions of the divorce records also are often more successful than requests to seal entire divorce records.
Once divorce records are sealed, access to sealed portions is unavailable to the general public. However, the general public can access all unsealed information in divorce documents.
Helping Families Navigate Legal Matters
At Redhawk Law, our divorce attorneys understand that you may desire to keep your family law matters private. We can help you keep your private matters confidential and file a motion to seal sensitive information in your divorce records.
Are you seeking to divorce privately? Schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our Norman divorce attorneys by calling us at (405) 266-5072. We offer same-day consultations for our potential clients.