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Will your divorce testimony become public record?

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2022 | Uncategorized

There are those who say that outsiders can never know what happens in a marriage. That may be true for as long as the couple stays married. However, witnesses to the spousal testimony in contested divorces may walk away knowing a massive amount about peoples’ personal lives and intimate, private behavior.

People often have to talk about embarrassing and private matters in divorce proceedings. Misconduct, ranging from physical abuse to gambling issues and infidelity, can cause divorce. They can also play a role in property division proceedings or even custody matters in some cases.

Spouses may need to discuss certain private matters as they seek to resolve disagreements from their marriage. They may need to discuss differences in their parenting styles or how certain misconduct has affected their marital property.

Will other people be able to access those claims that you make in California family court?

Most family court records are public record

Occasionally, high-profile individuals and those with concerns for the safety or mental health of their children may be able to get a judge to seal some of their family court records. However, there is no guarantee that such attempts will work.

You have to operate under the assumption that whatever you discuss in court will become public record that either of you could access again in the future. Even worse, co-workers, competitors and possibly your children could later request in writing from the court.

Can you keep your private issues confidential?

If you have serious concerns about infidelity or misconduct that you believe require discussion for a fair divorce, you may want to consider alternative dispute resolution. Mediation is a confidential process that can help those who disagree about matters for their divorce find a settlement that works. Some spouses can work with their attorneys to collaborate, and attorney-client privilege means that what you discussed in those private sessions will also remain private for the most part.

It is possible to factor in certain private considerations when preparing for a divorce without making every embarrassing element of your marriage public knowledge. Learning more about the rules that apply in California divorce proceedings can help you better navigate the end of your marriage.