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Privacy and Divorce in California

by Dinnebier & Demmerle on October 31, 2014

divorce lawyer orange county california

Happy Halloween!  Here’s today’s topic, and it is a potentially scary one.  Is it possible, or even legal, to keep a California divorce private? Today, social media is pretty much a guarantee that all news, good or bad, travels fast. And it is a fact of life today that some high net worth individuals and couples not necessarily famous for anything else, may find their marital business (such as divorce) suddenly very interesting to the world at large.

While finances might spring to mind as a priority for privacy concerns, there are, of course, many other issues that could impact your privacy by disclosing your personal identification information (PII) in court documents.

PII can include:

  • Your full name
  • Your spouse’s full name
  • Identities of your children
  • Business information
  • Social security numbers
  • Your or your spouses’s credit card and/or bank account numbers
  • Your home and/or email address
  • Your or your spouse’s telephone number(s)
  • Models and VINs of vehicles you or your spouse lease or own
  • Your or your spouse’s
  • Your or your spouse’s date of birth or birthplace

So how can you keep the details of your divorce private? Especially considering that divorce documents filed with the court are public records, accessible to just about anyone?

Your attorney can petition the court to seal the divorce records, as well as requesting what is called a protective, suppression, or gag order, which forbids certain people from disclosing information or speaking (including on the internet) about the case outside of court. This order would likely apply to:

  • Both parties in the divorce case
  • Attorneys
  • Witnesses
  • Jurors
  • Law enforcement personnel

Remember, this is our opinion on the law. This blog is not intended as legal advice. It is merely a topical overview intended for informational and/or discussion purposes. If you have questions or concerns about any aspect of how these matters may affect you, you may wish to consult a knowledgeable family law attorney. 

As Orange County’s premier family law specialists, the attorneys at Dinnebier & Demmerle can provide answers to your questions and concerns, clarify and establish your legal rights, and represent you in court. If you would like more information about privacy in divorce cases, or any other aspect of California family law, please call to set up a consultation. We’re ready to move forward when you are. Just contact us in Tustin at 714-838-1099.

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