Often, the news of celebrity couples splitting are accompanied by rumors of infidelity or a history of an explosive relationship. However, the true cause of many stars’ divorce may never be known due to the way that famous people often protect their privacy.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, court documents, including divorce documents, are a matter of public record unless sealed by a court order. The purpose of this law is to ensure an equal application of the law to everyone, regardless of his or her celebrity or social status. However, there are some circumstances in which a litigant’s right to privacy may override the public’s right to transparency in court proceedings.
Celebrities, public figures, prominent business owners and other couples of high net worth may have a lot to lose by making certain intimate details of their private lives public. Divorce documents contain a great deal of sensitive information including detailed personal and business financial information, complaints and unproven allegations made by either spouse and psychological and/or parenting evaluations.
In Maryland, court records for a divorce can be searched on the Maryland Judiciary website. Couples that wish to have their divorce records kept private must file a motion with the county court citing good cause to seal the records. Commonly cited reasons to seal a divorce record include:
- To protect children’s identity
- To protect victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse
- To keep sensitive financial information such as bank account numbers and social security numbers protected from identity theft
- To protect proprietary business information
- To protect individuals from the harm caused by false or defamatory accusations made by a former spouse
Unfortunately, exposure to merely embarrassing information is rarely enough to warrant a sealing of documents unless the parties can show that the resulting harm or damage to their reputation is significant enough to outweigh the public’s right to know.
The judge will also consider the impact a public divorce might have on any children involved. All children, regardless of their family’s social status, can be tremendously affected by their parents’ decision to split. The need to protect children from some of the more ugly aspects of divorce can weigh heavily on a judge’s decision to seal records, especially in high profile divorce cases wherein children can become casualties of public media attention.
Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles Handle High Profile Divorce Cases
At Huesman, Jones & Miles, our Towson high asset divorce lawyers understand the importance of privacy in family matters. We work with clients to find reasonable solutions to domestic issues that protect the best interests of all involved. To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and dedicated Towson divorce lawyers, call 443-589-0150 today or contact us online.