Blog

Protecting Personal Information in a New Jersey Divorce

 

The basic presumption in New Jersey is that Court records are open to the public. This means that anyone can go into a New Jersey courthouse and review a divorce file of a relative, friend, or even a stranger.

Before irreconcilable differences became a viable option as a cause of action for divorce, many litigants filed for divorce under extreme cruelty. They cited example after example of reasons, most of them unpleasant, as to why they sought a divorce. These filings are and were subject to review by any person without any basis or reason needed to do so.

After a recent amendment to our Court Rules, our Court Rules are even more relaxed now than before. There is a movement in New Jersey to have certain Court records and documents scanned and made available on the internet. In only a matter of time people will be able to do a Google search on their computer and find a divorce Complaint or other pleading or other divorce filings that they wish.

Most people are alarmed that such personal and private information is available for public consumption. I am here to tell you that it is available and open for public review. It happens every day and people are consuming and digesting personal information contained in a public Court file.

Information To Protect

As such, clients need to be careful and ensure that when providing documents to their attorneys that they delete or redact any of their personal information or identifiers. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Social Security numbers
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Vehicle plate numbers
  • Insurance policy numbers
  • Bank account numbers
  • Credit card numbers

If these personal identifiers are not redacted, they may very well end up in the Court’s file, which is an open file and parts of it subject to public review. One day, you may also find them on the internet and available for a more global review.

Help Your Attorney

The Court mandates that attorneys file certain documents with the Court and requires that the attorney add personal identifiers. Make sure your attorney takes every effort to protect these identifiers so the public cannot gain access to them. The first line of defense, however, starts with the client. The client must be diligent in protecting their privacy and be careful in providing these documents to their attorney.

It makes financial sense for the client to redact these identifiers and not rely on the attorney. Attorneys bill by the hour. The redaction process, depending on the complexity of the case, can be time consuming and costly.

Work together with your attorney to comply with all Court Rules and New Jersey public policy requiring open Court records. Likewise, be vigilant to protect your personal identifiers and confidential information.

Please contact me at jlawrence@lawlawfirm.com if you have questions about this post or any other family law matter.

Back to Blog
SHARE THIS POST:

Related Posts

Blog
The Advantages of Divorce Mediation

Reasons to Choose Divorce Mediation Over the Alternatives According to some sources, nearly half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. Mediation results in a positive resolution in as many as 80% of all cases. Many divorce lawyers recommend mediation if possible because there are many advantages to this approach, including saving time…

Read More
Blog
Dealing With Taxes During Your Divorce

Planning for the Tax Aspects of a Divorce While divorce can be a challenging experience personally, emotionally and practically, the financial effects are some of the longest-lasting changes. Not only do you need to manage asset division and the resulting change to both parties’ finances, but you may also find it challenging to adjust to…

Read More
Blog
Is a Prenup or a Trust Better Advance Preparation for Divorce?

Prenup or a Trust? – Divorce-Proofing Your Assets When people in New Jersey decide to marry, they may not want to think about divorce. However, with more people marrying later in life, with established careers, as business owners or as parents of children from prior relationships, there are many good reasons to engage in financial…

Read More
Blog
Preparing for the Realities of Divorce

Meeting the Challenges of Divorce Dealing with an unhappy marriage can be painful and difficult. Whether there are severe conflicts or simply a growing apart over time, divorce is always challenging on personal, emotional and financial levels. While spouses in New Jersey know that divorce is a significant undertaking, it can be more difficult than…

Read More
Blog
How Can Divorce Affect Your Medical Practice?

How to Deal With Your Medical Practice in a Divorce New Jersey doctors going through a divorce may have particular concerns about how the end of the marriage will affect the future of their medical practice, especially as any private practice is typically a closely held business. Much like other business owners, physicians may worry…

Read More
Blog
What Documents Do You Need for Your Divorce Legal Consultation?

Documents to Give Your Divorce Attorney If you are considering a divorce in New Jersey, it is important to prepare the documents that you need to share with your family law attorney. While the decision to end a marriage may be deeply personal and emotional at its core, divorce is a legal and financial process…

Read More

Disclaimer and information can be found here, including links to descriptions and selection methodologies. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Call Now ButtonCall Us