Many people in the greater Philadelphia area who earn a high income or have a lot of wealth may be worried about privacy if they have to go through a divorce.
After all, many of those who are wealthy or who earn significant income also have influential positions where reputation is important.
Even if a divorce is not especially ugly or scandalous, a Pennsylvania resident might not want personal and financial details in the public eye.
Most divorce proceedings are public records in Pennsylvania
Like other states, most court proceedings, including divorces, are open to the public in Pennsylvania. This means that a citizen can attend a divorce hearing and may also examine the court’s files.
There may be some restrictions on when a person can examine a file, and making a copy could involve having to pay a fee.
In some limited circumstances, a court may give a couple permission to file documents in a manner that will leave the documents closed off from public view. The presumption, though, is that the public has the right to see divorce records.
There are other ways a couple can try to keep their divorce details private
In order for a court to grant a divorce, a couple will have to file some paperwork. The court will also have to enter an order or decree granting the divorce. If a divorce is contested, there will have to be a public hearing.
However, the public records of a divorce do not have to be especially detailed. A couple which manages to negotiate a divorce settlement can avoid a hearing and the public attention that comes with it.
Likewise, if a couple reaches an agreement through mediation or some other negotiation, it may not be necessary to include all the details of that agreement in the court’s file.
A family law attorney can assist with evaluating a person’s options for keeping the details of a divorce or other family law matter private.