Incidents of identity theft are exploding around the country. Between 2005 and 2010, the number of incidents soared by 50 percent.
There are now 130 million computer programs that can capture credit card numbers and those numbers are now worth between $10 and hundreds of dollars for a no-limit American Express card.
What does this have to do with your divorce?
Divorce records, which can contain sensitive information, are matters of public record. That means that anyone - including your neighbor or employer - can poke through the pages of your divorce proceedings and learn more about you than you might want them to know, such as:
- the value of your marital property;
- your debts;
- your income; and
- your retirement benefits, pensions, savings, and investments
You Can Ask the Court to Seal Your Records
What if you don't want any of this information to be recorded publicly? You have the option to ask the court to seal your divorce records to prevent confidential and sensitive information from becoming part of the public record.
There are a number of reasons why you might want to have your records sealed.
- To protect your children from being identified.
- To protect yourself if you are a domestic violence victim and would like to keep this information private.
- To keep your social your security number and bank account numbers private
To have your records sealed, you will need to ask the court's permission. You may also ask the court to narrowly seal only the sensitive portion of your records. In this case, the court would redact - remove or edit - only those portions of your divorce filings that are the most sensitive.
What Is Your Spouse Hiding From You?
In addition to worrying about your exposure, you need to question what your spouse might be hiding from you.
According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, 31 percent of adults (married or living together) living in the United States admitted to being deceptive about money. In addition, 34 percent admitted to lying about their finances, earnings and debts.
What Happens When the Threat Comes from Your Spouse?
There have been cases where a spouse spies or hacks into private accounts or information by using a hidden camera or computer program. The courts will be on your side when you present proof because in a contested divorce, the parties attest under penalty of perjury that they are truthfully revealing information about their finances, debts, earnings and investments.
If you believe your spouse is hiding financial information in your divorce, or if you would like to have your records seal, speak with an attorney about alternatives you can pursue.
Do you have questions about your divorce, family law, children's issues, same-sex unions, juvenile dependency, adoption, or spousal support? If so, call me or schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of James V. Sansone at 707-623-1875 or contact me by email. You can find additional information on family law, children's issues, spousal support, domestic violence as well as a list of resources you'll find helpful on our website.