Sealing Court Records in an Arizona Divorce
The Law on Sealing a Divorce Case in Arizona
Some people may have very good reasons for sealing court records in an AZ divorce. A divorce, although very personal, involves a legal process to dissolve the marriage. Your assets and business holdings are also included because the court must determine how to divide community assets between the two spouses. You have to deal with dividing community assets and debts, the potential payment of alimony (spousal support) and establishing child visitation schedules.
Divorce proceedings are very personal to you and your family. In most states, including Arizona, divorce records and proceedings are accessible to the public. To ensure the transparency of the court system, it is necessary to allow the public to have access to court records.
Thankfully, certain family law documents may be sealed; thereby preventing the public from gaining access to either certain documents or the entire divorce file.
Documents that may be sealed include healthcare records, most if not all, financial documents, or any information identifying children or a victim of domestic or sexual abuse or violence. You must seek the approval of the courts to seal any records in your case. A motion or application to seal records must be requested if you feel you need documents or information to be sealed. An experienced family law attorney can help you understand the process of sealing divorce records to protect your privacy.
There is a process called “redaction”, which will prevent any identifying information, such as your social security number or bank account numbers, from being revealed to the public. Such information can be blacked out on the actual document to prevent disclosure. Identity theft is so prevalent today that this may be the best option to choose. With the help of your Arizona family law attorney, your identity can be protected even if most of the divorce records are left unsealed and available to the public.
Court of Appeals Ruling on Whether You Can Talk About a Divorce That is Sealed
In the case of Nash vs. Nash, Mother challenged a court order that “[d]ocuments, records, and transcripts sealed by the Court, and information contained in the sealed material, may not be disseminated to any third party without an Order of the Court.”
Not only does the order bar either party from disclosing copies of any court filing, but it also prevents them from discussing the outcome of the proceeding or disclosing any information contained in documents, records or transcripts without prior court approval.
It broadly applied to all such information, without regard to its source and without identifying any significant interest sought to be protected. Because the order preemptively forbade speech concerning a public proceeding, this was a classic prior restraint on speech. Father did not argue the order was required to protect his interest in a fair trial. Instead, Father argued the order was a “logical extension” of stipulations the parties entered prior to Trial asking the superior court to seal particular filings.
But the order at issue bared disclosure of any matter in the court’s record, not just documents the parties agreed would be sealed or kept confidential.
Moreover, Father did not point to any stipulation by which the parties agreed not to disclose the outcome of the dissolution proceeding or, more broadly, any information contained in any filing they made in the proceeding.
Nor did Father identify any specific information contained in the court’s file whose disclosure would threaten the best interests of the children or any factual finding by the court that would justify the order.
Pursuant to Arizona Rule of Family Law Procedure 13(D), the records relating to a dissolution proceeding “shall be maintained and disclosed in accordance” with Rule 123(c)(1) of the Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court, which in turn provides that court records “are presumed to be open to any member of the public for inspection.”
While Arizona Rule of Family Law Procedure 13(D) allows the superior court to “make any record of a family court matter closed or confidential or otherwise limit access to such records,” the court may issue such an order only upon “a finding that the confidentiality or privacy interests of the parties [or] their minor children … outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”
To the extent the order at issue barred the parties from disclosing the decree or any other filings made in the case, it failed because it is unsupported by the findings that Rule 13(D) or Rule 123(c)(1) of the Arizona Supreme Court require.
Moreover, to the extent the order bared the parties from disclosing any information contained in any court filing, it cannot withstand scrutiny under applicable First Amendment principles. Therefore, the Court of Appeals vacated the order. Now, the question remains, what were those juicy details? If you have any questions regarding child support in Arizona.
If you have questions about sealing court records in a divorce in Arizona, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona divorce and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in divorce and family law cases.
Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.
Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your divorce or family law case around today.
Arizona Family Law Attorneys in Scottsdale and Tucson Arizona
More Articles About Divorce in Arizona
- The advantage of Filing Divorce First in Arizona
- Are Prenuptial Agreements Enforceable in Arizona
- Arizona Divorce
- Arizona Divorce Attorney Reviews
- Arizona Divorce Child Custody
- Arizona Divorce Debt
- Arizona Divorce Forms
- Arizona Divorce Laws
- Arizona Divorce Laws Alimony
- Arizona Divorce Laws and Statutes
- Arizona Divorce Laws on Adultery
- Arizona Divorce Papers
- Arizona Divorce Practice
- Arizona Divorce Process
- Arizona Divorce Records Search
- Arizona Marriage Laws
- Asset and Property Search in an Arizona Divorce
- Arizona Divorce When You Can’t Find Your Spouse
- Change to Maiden Name After Divorce in Arizona
- Changing Orders in an Arizona Divorce Decree
- Children and Divorce in Arizona
- College Expenses After Divorce in Arizona
- Complex Divorce Cases in Arizona
- Conciliation Court Services in Arizona
- Consent Required for Marriage of Minors in Arizona
- Considering the Children during a Divorce in Arizona
- Convert to a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- Coping With Divorce in Arizona
- Court Services to Save a Marriage in Arizona
- Custody of the Family Pet in a Divorce in Arizona
- Dissolution of Marriage in Arizona
- Divorce After Legal Separation in Arizona
- Divorce and Children in Arizona
- Divorce Arizona
- Divorce Case is on the Inactive Calendar in Arizona
- Divorce Court Jurisdiction in Arizona
- Divorce in Arizona Without Children
- Divorce Procedures in Arizona
- Divorce Records in Arizona
- Divorce Statistics in Arizona
- Divorce Support Groups in Arizona
- Domestic Violence and Divorce in Arizona
- Effect of Adultery on an Arizona Divorce
- Effects of Divorce on Children in Arizona
- Enforceable Arizona Prenuptial Agreements
- Failure to Include an Issue in an Arizona Divorce
- Filing for Divorce in Arizona
- Filing for Divorce to Receive Alimony in Arizona
- Guide to Divorce for Men in Arizona
- High Asset Divorce in Arizona
- High Conflict Divorce in Arizona
- High Net Worth Divorce Arizona
- How is a Divorce Finalized in Arizona
- How Long Does a Contested Divorce Take in Arizona
- How Long Does it Take to Get a Divorce in Arizona
- How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced in Arizona
- How Long Does Uncontested Divorce Take in Arizona
- How Long To Be Separated Before Divorce in Arizona
- How long to get Temporary Orders in Arizona
- How Much Does it Cost to Get a Divorce in Arizona
- How to Appeal a Divorce Decree in Arizona
- How To Find Good Divorce Attorney in Arizona
- How to Start a Divorce in Arizona
- Learn About Uncontested Divorce in Arizona
- Legally Separated File Divorce in Arizona
- Marital Settlement Agreement in Arizona
- The merger of the Settlement Agreement in Arizona
- Military Divorce Laws in Arizona
- Misled Into Signing Divorce Settlement in Arizona
- Modifying a Divorce Decree in Arizona
- No Contest Divorce in Arizona
- No-Fault Divorce in Arizona
- Order to Pay Spouses Attorney Fees in Arizona
- Parenting Class During a Divorce in Arizona
- Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Arizona
- Protect Children in a Divorce in Arizona
- Quick Divorce in Arizona
- Reasons for Divorce in Arizona
- Reasons to File for Divorce in Arizona
- Represent Yourself in Arizona Divorce Case
- Same-Sex Divorce in Arizona
- Sell Home During Divorce in Arizona
- Selling Property During a Divorce in Arizona
- Served With Divorce Papers in Arizona
- Serving Divorce Papers by Publication in Arizona
- Should I Keep the House in a Divorce in Arizona
- Social Media Evidence in Divorce in Arizona
- Stop an Arizona Divorce
- Stop an Arizona Divorce if You Change Your Mind
- What Happens at a Resolution Management Conference in Arizona
- What Happens If the Divorce Case Goes to Trial in Arizona
- What Happens Temporary Orders Hearing in Arizona
- What is a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- What is a Default Divorce in Arizona
- What is a Family Law Master in an Arizona Divorce Case
- What is a Preliminary Injunction in an Arizona Divorce
- What is a Temporary Orders Hearing in Arizona
- What is the Divorce Process in Arizona
- What Reasons Do I Need to Obtain a Divorce in a Covenant Marriage in Arizona
- What to do When Served with Divorce Papers in Arizona
- When Can I File For Divorce in Arizona
Chris Hildebrand wrote the information on this page about sealing court records in an AZ divorce to ensure everyone has access to information about divorce laws in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.