Can I Seal the Records of My Divorce?

 Posted on June 29, 2023 in DuPage County Divorce Attorneys

Wheaton Alimony LawyerYour divorce case will mean that there are court records. Some of these records may contain sensitive and potentially damaging information that you do not want exposed to the general public. It is possible to have your divorce records sealed under certain circumstances. However, there are reasons why a judge may not grant any motion to seal your divorce records or allow certain information to remain public.

The Presumption Is that Documents Are Available to the Public

Under the Illinois Clerk of Courts Act, documents that are required to be kept by the court’s clerk are public records. Public means that anyone can show up at the courthouse and inspect these records. If your divorce is messy, or if there is information that you want kept confidential, anyone can learn about it. The only way that your divorce records can be sealed is when you file a motion with the trial court. The judge must grant the motion to seal the records.

How Courts Consider Motions to Seal Your Record

Illinois courts will generally consider two factors in deciding whether to seal divorce records:

  • You have a compelling interest in keeping certain information restricted

  • The order restricting the documents is drafted as narrowly as possible

The major question is what is considered a “compelling” interest. There is no law in Illinois that defines the term. You may argue that keeping certain information from the public counts as compelling. In the end, the decision about sealing your divorce records is up to the trial judge. The judge has a wide degree of discretion in your case. It would be up to your Illinois divorce attorney to draft a persuasive motion to show the judge why you want certain information to remain confidential and out of the public reach. 

Even if the judge grants your motion, they may not seal the entire record. They could seal some documents, or parts of these documents, while leaving the rest in the public realm. Again, the judge has discretion, but they will certainly consider the public interest. 

Wheaton Family Law Attorneys Working for You

Your DuPage County family law attorney does more than just negotiate or litigate your divorce. At Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we advise you about other issues that relate to your divorce. You can call us today at 630-871-1002 to schedule your free initial consultation to discuss your case. 



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