Few people relish the idea of their personal business being made public for all their friends, co-workers, and neighbors to see. This is especially true of their divorce proceedings. Even though divorce is common, these intensely personal proceedings can reveal embarrassing facts about your relationship that you would rather keep private.

This desire for privacy during a difficult time in your life is juxtaposed against the general rule that court hearings and the records of those proceedings are open to the public. If you are concerned about details of your private life becoming public, you might be interested to know if there is a way to keep your divorce away from the public eye.

Georgia Divorce Records Are Public by Default

The general rule is that divorce records in Georgia between two adults of lawful age are public. This means that a member of the public can ask to see and be granted access to all documents prepared and filed in your divorce case, beginning with your divorce petition and ending with your divorce decree. This means that a person can discover:

Why You Are Filing for Divorce

Your divorce petition will list the reason you are seeking divorce, even if that reason is only because of “irreconcilable differences.” However, if you allege one or more fault-based divorce grounds like adultery, desertion, or impotence, this information would be publicly accessible.

Your Assets and How They Are Divided

Next, your proposed property settlement agreement and the property division award ordered by the court would also be public. A person who is curious could discover what assets you and your ex accumulated and how those assets were divided by the family court.

Any Alimony or Child Support Ordered in Your Case

If either you or your ex requested or received spousal support or child support, these orders will be part of the court’s public file. The documents and worksheets associated with these orders would likely include financial information, including your income and any special circumstances you claim warrant an order of spousal support.

Sealing Georgia Family Court Records

Georgia law does allow for divorce records to be sealed. The judge makes that decision on a case-by-case basis. The process begins by making a request to the judge to seal the records in your divorce case. In petitioning the court for an order sealing your divorce case, you bear the burden of showing the court that sealing the records is appropriate.

To meet your burden, you will likely need to show the court that you or your children suffered some sort of actual harm because the records are public. This could include harassment from your ex or a third party or that your financial information and accounts were compromised. A court would consider the circumstances you present and decide whether sealing the file is warranted.

Once sealed, no one other than you, your ex, and any attorneys representing either of you could access the court’s files without permission.

The Impact of Public Divorce Records in Georgia

Knowing that divorce records in Georgia are public should not discourage you or cause you to postpone filing for divorce. Although this means your petition and other documents could be subject to public scrutiny, the reality is that people are not likely to take the time to look into your divorce case. 

Should someone do so and you suffer some adverse consequence as a result, petition the court immediately for an order sealing your court file. An order like this would prevent further public access to the file and its contents.

To learn more and get the help you deserve, contact our legal team at Crystal Wright Law and schedule your consultation today.

We serve all through Lawrenceville, Georgia, in Gwinnett County and its surrounding areas. Visit our law firm today at

Crystal Wright Law
440 S. Perry Street, Suite 105
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
(404) 594-2143