Throughout the course of any divorce, parties share a vast amount of information, from their financial records to intimate details of their marriage. Many people would prefer that others not be privy to this information, and rules that took effect earlier this year in Pennsylvania regarding confidential documents and information serve to keep family law matters as private as possible.
In Pennsylvania, the following information(if in a court filing) must be sealed from the public:
- Social Security numbers
- Financial account numbers
- Drivers License and State ID numbers
- Minor’s names and dates of birth (in most cases)
- Abuse victims’ addresses and certain contact information
Pennsylvania also treats certain court filings as confidential documents, including medical and psychological records, a child’s academic records, Children and Youth Records, and certain financial documents.
Other tips to keep your private matters private:
- Don’t discuss the details online. Sharing information on social media or private blogs may seem like a good outlet to vent or talk about a divorce. However, it can be very easy for others to share or see what you say, even when you think you are in a private conversation, hidden behind a user name or shielded from undesirable followers. To avoid unintentional disclosures online, consider stepping away from things like social media during a divorce.
- Resolve as many matters as possible in mediation. Negotiations in mediation and collaborative law meetings are generally confidential and require few filings with the court. In contrast, litigation requires many court filings with personal details and often testimony during proceedings about these issues.
If privacy is a concern for you, you should discuss this with your attorney so that all available safeguards are utilized.