Are divorce records public?

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2023 | Divorce |

Most court cases, regardless of what court they happen in, become public records. There are some exceptions where the judge may decide to seal documents or the law seals the record due to the sensitive nature of the case and to protect victims.

However, most cases, especially divorce cases, will become available for the public to see. For the majority of couples, this is not a big deal, but if you have a high-asset divorce that draws a lot of attention, you may wish to keep the matter private.

Records Division rules

You have no say in whether the court releases your case records to the public. You may ask the judge to seal the case, which becomes completely up to the judge. In general, all records go to the clerk of courts who will enter them into the public record.

The Franklin County Clerk of Courts will give all public access to divorce records, but if someone wishes to access them, they will need to go in person to the court to get them. The clerk does not put such records into the online case system.

Privacy options

While you may be unable to keep your documents out of the public eye, there is something you can do to minimize the information. You can settle the case outside of court so that when it goes to court, the only information available will be settlement amounts and the finalization of the divorce. You will not have court transcripts that air everything that happened during the decision-making process.

For all intents and purposes, you should assume your divorce case will become public once it is final.