Protecting Your Privacy In A Virginia Divorce
The circumstances surrounding a divorce are often sensitive and something most people prefer to keep to themselves. However, it is important to be candid about your specific situation when speaking with our divorce attorney, as full disclosure helps us to protect your rights and obtain the best possible settlement.
While you can expect us to maintain full confidentiality and not disclose the information you share with anyone else, maintaining your privacy might not be so simple once you take your case to court. Find out the facts about public divorce records in Virginia and how to prevent pertinent details from getting out.
Is A Virginia Divorce Part Of The Public Record?
When getting a divorce in Loudoun County or other jurisdictions throughout the state, you will need to file a petition through the local circuit court. Unfortunately, legal proceedings in these courts become part of the public record. This means that anyone has access to the information contained in these files. However, under the Virginia Code, public access in a divorce case is restricted until 25 years after a final divorce order is issued.
This means that, while someone may be able to verify that you are divorced, they generally cannot gain access to details surrounding your case during the 25-year time period. The only exception is for the parties directly involved in the case.
After this 25-year period, your divorce records are then open and available for public viewing. This can create issues if you have concerns about adult children, members of the media, or other interested parties, in which access to these records could prove potentially harmful.
Keeping Details Surrounding Your Divorce Private
While state law dictates that divorce records in Virginia are public, there are other ways to protect your privacy during and after these proceedings. One is by filing an Addendum for Protected Identifying Information.
This permits you to have personal information, such as any details surrounding your marriage, divorce, or financial situation sealed from public view. However, in order to do this, you must have a valid reason for your request and be able to show how making this information public would be harmful.
Your other option is to negotiate a divorce settlement instead. Rather than revealing sensitive information relevant to important divorce-related matters, such as marital property division, alimony, and child custody, in court, negotiations can occur privately, involving only you, your spouse, and each of your divorce attorneys. Once a divorce settlement is reached, it is then presented to a judge so that a final divorce order can be issued.
Concerned about your spouse sharing sensitive details in your case? Another option for protecting your privacy is requiring a non-disclosure agreement as part of your divorce settlement.
To Request A Consultation, Contact Our Virginia Divorce Attorney
At Schwartz Kalina, PLLC., we can help you keep sensitive information private in divorce proceedings. To request a confidential consultation with our Virginia divorce attorney, call or contact us online today.