Will my Divorce be Part of Public Record?

Divorce Decree
An experienced Scottsdale divorce & family lawyer discusses when divorce is and is not part of public record. Contact us for superior divorce representation.

It depends on how your divorce is resolved and whether your case involves certain issues. In general, most matters that are resolved in court – including divorce cases – WILL be part of public record.

This means that anyone who wants to find out certain information about a specific divorce case usually can do so, finding details regarding the following (among other things) by looking at the public court divorce records:

  • Who filed for divorce first (i.e., who the petitioner is)
  • When the couple officially split up and when the divorce paperwork was filed
  • The grounds for divorce
  • What either party is requesting or wants from the divorce.
Are There Exceptions to Divorce Being Part of Public Record?

Yes, with some of the more notable exceptions being:

  • Divorce cases involving domestic violence – In some states, divorce cases that involve allegations of abuse will remain private, usually in an effort to protect the victims. Additionally, if a psychiatric evaluation of either or both parties in the divorce is completed as part of the divorce process, the results of these evaluations will typically remain private even if the divorce case does not necessarily involve allegations of abuse.
  • Divorce cases filed under seal – It can be possible for divorcing parties to specifically request that their divorce documents are not made public by filing for divorce under seal. In these cases, the judge will have the final say in granting (or denying) the request. Common cases that are filed under seal are those in which there is a need to protect the involved children (from being identified) or it is necessary to protect certain proprietary information.
  • Divorce cases resolved via mediation – Not all divorce cases have to proceed in court. In fact, when couples can work together to resolve their issues via mediation, the details of their divorce will remain private (as mediation cases and outcomes are not part of public record). What may be even more beneficial, however, is the fact that divorce mediation allows divorcing parties to develop their own solutions, rather than leaving it up to the court to decide.
Contact a Scottsdale Divorce & Family Lawyer Attorney at the Law Office of Karen A. Schoenau

If you are ready to file for divorce in Arizona, contact Scottsdale Divorce & Family Lawyer Karen Schoenau for honest answers, effective representation and the best possible outcomes to your case. Since 1987, Karen Schoenau has been committed to helping people resolve their important family law matters, including complex cases related to divorce, custody, paternity and other issues.

To receive professional advice and learn more about how we can help you, schedule an initial consultation with Attorney Karen Schoenau. You can set up this meeting by calling 480-209-1918or by emailing us using the drop-down contact form at the top of this page.

From her offices based on Scottsdale, Attorney Karen Schoenau represents clients throughout the metropolitan Scottsdale area, including in Scottsdale, Mesa, Surprise, Maricopa County, Pinal County, Gila County and throughout the state of Arizona.

Client Reviews
Karen is highly respected in the legal community. She is effective and thorough. Karen just keeps going regardless of the odds.
Karen was extremely helpful setting up my petition for conciliation. She is by far the most knowledgeable attorney regarding the necessary paperwork, how to file the petition and where it has to be submitted. She listened intently when I was describing my situation and intentions. She was very responsive to my questions and request. She is trustworthy and diligent . I would recommend her to anyone having marital issues. Mark
Very high customer/client considerate. We found Karen when we were forced to leave another Phoenix lawyer due to his bad advice and lack of interest to help us. We were in Phoenix for six days from Michigan with nothing happening but a high wasted expense. Karen and her firm took us in and solved our issue with the courts etc. in two and a half days. Karen’s professionalism with us was very cost effective/productive. If we would have found her first, we would have saved thousands of dollars. Her interest for us was very high. She returned every call. She knew every answer to our questions. She did this for us with a death in her family. She left for a funeral and made sure we were treated with the same professionalism from her firm to finish up. I recommend Karen and her firm with very high satisfaction. Our case is custody with one parent in prison. We will return to Phoenix someday with interests for the child and his parent, if needed. Karen will be our top choice. Nolan
Karen and Bonita are wonderful!! I know that the word "wonderful" is used a lot, but the team they make and the work they did for me can only be described as WONDERFUL!! Yes there where ups and downs in my case, but that is the system and Karen along with Bonita guided and taught me as "WE" went through it together. Karen’s easy going manner and her knowledge really helped me with the emotional part of my divorce. I used the team of Karen and Bonita both times I needed to go to court with my ex and had results that were best for my little girl. Some times I did not get what I wanted, but it was what my daughter needed. Looking back at my case, I made the right choice and would do it again in a heart beat!! Jim
Karen was extremely supportive during a very trying time in our lives. She helped me to put things in perspective and think positive when I was overwhelmed. She is very knowledgeable about the laws pertaining to grandparents rights and the rights of the parents and knew how to provide the appropriate laws pertaining to the situation we were in. I am so grateful for her expertise and guidance. She proved to be very aggressive when she needed to be but was also supportive to my and my children. I would recommend her to anyone in a similar situation. Deanna