Many people wrongly assume that their divorce is confidential. Did you know that all documents filed with the court are part of the public record? Clients are often surprised to learn that everything housed in the court’s records is accessible to anyone. This means anyone can go to the courthouse, pull your file, and photocopy or photograph any of the court documents.
What Kind of Documents are Filed with the Court?
When you are going through a divorce, you are required to disclose personal information. Your court file might contain any number of important documents, such as:
- Pay stubs
- Tax returns
- Real property addresses and accessor parcel numbers
- Detailed list of assets
- Outstanding liabilities and debts
- Parenting agreements
- Parenting concerns
- Parenting recommendations
- Information about children
All the details of your family’s workings, finances, parenting, and divorce are housed in the public file. Even the final agreement signed by both parties at the conclusion of the divorce — the document that spells out the settlement terms — is in the public file accessible by anyone.
Ensuring Privacy: The Collaborative Divorce Process
You might think, “I don’t want all that information to get out.” In this case, you have the choice to opt out of the public system with the courts and opt into the Collaborative Divorce Process.
The Collaborative Divorce Process is completely confidential. The minimum court requirements are met, but all of your private information is kept confidential. With the Collaborative Divorce Process, the divorce attorneys preserve the privacy of our clients while still guiding them through the legal process.
All of the Collaborative Divorce meetings and communications are confidential. The Collaborative Divorce Process enables parties to participate wholeheartedly and openly, knowing that nothing is going to be used against them in court. Additionally, no one outside of the process will have access to any personal information.
Privacy and confidentiality are not preserved at the courthouse, but it can be guaranteed when you choose the Collaborative Divorce Process.