Sealing Illinois Divorce Records

Posted on in Divorce

divorce case, divorce file, Illinois divorce records, Palatine divorce attorney, public documents, sealing Illinois divorce records​Illinois divorce records are public documents. Any person who walks into a Courthouse, and is willing to pay, can access and photocopy all documents contained in a divorce case. Additionally, all documents contained in a divorce file — pleadings, financial disclosures, exhibits — are fair game and can be viewed; however, you can have the Court seal these records for compelling reasons.

Sealing Illinois Divorce Records

If you are going through a divorce, there are a number of reasons why you may want your divorce records sealed. Several reasons include the following:

Privacy. People are nosey. Friends and family may want to see divorce records for a number of reasons — curiosity as to how much money you have, how much debt you may have, and to find out any potential “juicy” details about the divorce itself. Celebrities and public figures often have their records sealed for this reason.

Identity Protection. Divorce records contain a wealth of information that unscrupulous individuals can mine and use to steal your identity. Birth dates, addresses, telephone numbers, bank statements with account numbers, email addresses and even Social Security numbers may be within divorce records. A person who trolls through divorce records could be rewarded with all the information he or she needs to infiltrate your bank accounts and drain you of your money, or to open credit cards in your name, run up debt, and leave you with a huge mess to clean up.

Safety concerns. As discussed above, Court documents and pleadings contain personal information that would allow an individual reviewing the documents to know where the divorced parties live and how to contact them. This also invites potential stalkers. For non-celebrities, a divorced party may wish for his or her location to remain secret to protect him or her from confirmed stalkers.

Protect trade secrets. Many businesses have trade secrets, or methods of obtaining, organizing or compiling information that gives them an economic advantage over their competitors. If these trade secrets became public knowledge, business finances could be damaged.

Refusal to Seal Records

One reason why the Court may refuse to seal records is embarrassment. If a husband accuses his wife of serial infidelity, or if a wife provides evidence of a husband's bankruptcy — even if his or her public persona is one of wealth and the disclosure of either of these facts may be embarrassing — the embarrassment is insufficient to support the Court’s sealing of the records.

When records are sealed, any person wishing to review the records must first obtain a Court order.

Palatine Divorce Attorney

If you are contemplating divorce, contact Palatine divorce attorney Nicholas W. Richardson. With more than 10 years of experience handling divorce and child custody cases, Nicholas W. Richardson understands the emotions and stress that accompany divorce, and he will treat both you and the opposing party with respect as he works to come to the best resolution for all parties. Contact the Palatine office today at 847.873.6741 to schedule a consultation.

 

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