Divorce proceedings are public information

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Divorce on Friday, August 29, 2014.

When people go through a divorce, they sometimes don’t realize that the records in the divorce are usually part of the public record. For some politicians and other public figures, however, those records might be sealed for a variety of reasons. In the case of a Wellington Village Councilman, a newspaper is asking a judge to make the financial records regarding the divorce a matter of public record.

Those records were sealed last year after the politician claimed that people who didn’t agree with his views could misuse the information. In a motion recently filed, it is alleged that the given reason didn’t justify sealed records. The motion for the news agency that is trying to get the record unsealed includes a reminder that openness is the way to stop the misinformation.

The request to unseal the record comes on the heels of questions being raised about the politician’s fitness for public office. According to some records available from his divorce, the politician didn’t file joint tax returns for at least two, and possibly three, years.

One interesting note is that the man’s former wife’s attorney seems to be onboard with the unsealing of the sealed divorce records. The politician’s attorney, however, hasn’t released a comment because he says that he hasn’t had a chance to review the motion or discuss the matter with his client.

While most people won’t have to go through a situation like this politician is having to go through, this story does serve as a good reminder that records presented in court during a divorce hearing should be accurate. It is also a reminder that going through a divorce can put your private matters in the public’s eye.

Source: The Palm Beach Post, “Post seeks to unseal Wellington councilman’s divorce records” Kristen M. Clark, Aug. 21, 2014