Can a divorce record be sealed in Connecticut?

Divorce often involves discussions about very private matters. Depending on how spouses address certain issues, they may need to present evidence about everything from financial misconduct to parenting habits in family court. Many people are so averse to the idea of publicly sharing private family information that they go to great lengths to avoid divorce litigation.

Many households in Connecticut may attempt mediation so that they have less information on record with the family courts. Despite how personal and private divorce proceedings may feel, the records of a divorce will likely be part of the public record. Anything shared in open court could be accessible to others. There can even be records online of someone’s recent divorce.

The obligation to make certain details public may deter people from filing for divorce or fighting for the terms that they know would be fair given the circumstances. This is why it’s important to understand that it is possible for someone to seal divorce records in Connecticut.

Yes, a judge can order record sealing

In theory, either spouse or the judge presiding over the divorce can submit paperwork to have the court records sealed. However, it is unlikely for the judge to take this step, which means that individuals will need to act on their own behalf.

Generally speaking, the situation will need to include private or sensitive information that could cause harm if made public to warrant a record ceiling. The situations that might lead to a judge sealing divorce records include:

  • the protection of private business information
  • security for personal financial or banking information
  • disclosure of sensitive information about minor children
  • the protection of victims of domestic abuse
  • avoiding public disclosure of inaccurate or malicious information shared in court

Provided that the situation meets one of those standards, the courts may seal the records from the divorce. Some of the financial details from divorce proceedings are subject to automatic ceiling for the protection of people’s privacy, but the more people sharing court, the more important requesting record sealing might become.

The courts can potentially redact certain information, seal a portion of the divorce records or seal everything so that it will not be accessible to the public. Discussing concerns about the information shared during divorce with a lawyer can help someone evaluate whether they qualify for record sealing in their case.