While going through a divorce, you may wonder if your records are private. Will your neighbors be able to see how your assets were divided? Or will your distant friends learn precisely what your child custody arrangement is? In a time of vulnerability, it may be worrying to learn that divorce records are public records in New Jersey, and others can learn personal details about your divorce through record access.
Why Are Divorce Records Publicly Available?
Divorce records are considered public records due to the 2001 Open Public Records Act (OPRA), which makes it a right for the public to access court documents and other pertinent government documents in New Jersey. Some records may not be considered OPRA records due to the protection of government interest, but unfortunately, divorce records do not fall under this classification.
What Information Is Redacted?
You have the right to have your personal information safeguarded because of your reasonable expectation of privacy; however, your private information may remain on the records for court and government agency usage.
If a member of the general public requests to access your divorce records, the following information will be redacted:
- Your social security number and the social security numbers of those involved in your divorce
- Your credit card information
- Your unlisted telephone numbers
- Your drivers’ license number and the drivers’ license numbers of those involved in the case
- Details about domestic violence or abuse
- Information that would identify any minors involved
How Can Others Access My Divorce Records?
Because of the personal nature of divorce records, your records may not be available for the public to find. The courts may deny access to these records or make it harder to find online than other forms of court and government records as a method of record protection. However, this does not make it impossible for a member of the public to find your divorce records.
For a member of the public to access your divorce records, they must submit a request to the Superior Court of New Jersey Records Center or to the court clerk from the jurisdiction where your divorce case was heard. Your records may also be available on a third-party public record website, where you can pay to access these records.
DeTommaso Law Group, LLC is here for all of your divorce needs. Call us today at (908) 274-3028 to schedule a case consultation with our team about your upcoming divorce.