Are Divorce Records Public in Virginia?

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Are Divorce Records Public in Virginia?

July 21 2022
By Faye Carroll

Divorce records are part of vital records in the state of Virginia which include birth, marriage, and death records. Although these records aren’t immediately available to the public once they are created, all of them will become available after a certain period of time. So are divorce records public in Virginia? The answer is yes, but when and how an individual can obtain the record varies.

Yes, Divorce Records Are Public

Since divorces in Virginia are handled by circuit courts, the information regarding the divorce is considered public information. However, these public records aren’t available for anyone to view for 25 years after your divorce in Virginia.

If it has not been 25 years but an individual attempts to access the divorce record, they must prove that they are an eligible party to receive information about the record. All divorce records in Virginia remain public after the designated length of time unless they are under seal.

Can You Seal Divorce Records?

It’s possible to seal divorce records in Virginia, meaning they would not be considered public information and the general public would not be able to access the record.

Either party in the divorce can request that identifying information such as account numbers, insurance policy numbers, and specifics of the case be sealed by filing a private addendum. However, as the state of Virginia is inclined to keep the file open, you must have a good reason for requesting to keep the record from the public and be able to demonstrate your reasoning to the court. 

For example, you must prove to the court that keeping the record public would cause harm, either to yourself, your family, or another party. Another legitimate reason to seal divorce records is if the documents contain proprietary or false information.

Need Help With Your Divorce?

Navigating a divorce can be a challenging time, to say the least. Do you need an experienced attorney to assist with your divorce in Virginia? If so, contact Virginia Family Law Center, P.C., to get started with your divorce proceedings today and learn more about how your divorce records can be accessed.

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