Divorce is a delicate matter. Many private details are documented, such as financial information and personal information pertaining to the divorce. These are details most people want to keep private.
Court proceedings are public record unless there is a specific reason to seal them. Therefore, facts about your New Mexico divorce may be accessible to others. Speaking to an attorney early on about any privacy concerns is a good idea. That way, you know what to expect—and how to ask for certain elements of your divorce to be kept private if needed.
You have a right to keep your divorce information as private as possible. While you might not be able to keep all the details under wraps, there are some steps you can take to help safeguard critical information.
Is My Divorce Private in New Mexico?
The New Mexico Supreme Court mandates that records not sealed by statute may only be sealed by an official court order. Even so, only sensitive information is redacted from public disclosure. All other information remains public record without further action.
In certain cases, a divorce proceeding can be sealed by the court. This can happen in instances of domestic violence. Another reason to seal the divorce proceedings may be that it is in the best interest of the children involved. If one or both parties are high profile—think Bill and Melinda Gates—then the court may seal the proceedings to protect sensitive business information.
Requesting Confidentiality in Your Divorce
During divorce proceedings, you will pass a number of documents back and forth that contain sensitive information—and those documents are accessible to your spouse, their lawyer, their team, and the courts. You may request, and even insist, on a confidentiality clause within your divorce agreement in addition to sealing the files.
Any information that would not be accessible to the public or your soon-to-be-ex prior to divorce should not be available without protection just because of a divorce. Confidentiality agreements can mutually protect both parties and their legal teams.
A confidentiality agreement usually outlines who can access sensitive documents and information. It will also specify that any named parties cannot share this information with anyone else, or the media—including social media.
If a confidentiality agreement is violated, further legal action can be pursued against the offending party. You should bring up whether or not to request a confidentiality agreement with your divorce attorney early on.
Is New Mexico a No-Fault Divorce State?
You can file for a no-fault divorce in New Mexico. This means that neither party is responsible for the divorce, and that you’re just in too much disagreement or conflict to have a hope of reconciliation.
If you file for a no-fault divorce, you may be able to go through mediation, instead of the courts. Records of a divorce mediation are not made public. This may be a worthwhile path to discuss with your divorce attorney if you’re intent on protecting your privacy.
While choosing any of these steps is helpful in keeping your divorce proceedings private, a combination of these steps will prove even more beneficial. To most effectively follow these steps, you need a divorce lawyer familiar with all available options for keeping your New Mexico divorce private.
If you need assistance keeping your divorce as private as legally possible, contact us today. With over four decades of legal experience, our divorce lawyers are capable and highly knowledgeable.