Can I keep my divorce private?

If either you or your spouse files for divorce, any documents filed with the court related to your divorce case are available for public inspection. See Virginia Code Section 17.1-208. However, if you would like to keep your divorce private, either you or your spouse may file a written request, which must be approved by a judge, to sequester all or part of your divorce case from the public eye.  See Virginia Code Section 20-124. If your case is sequestered by the court, only you and your attorney, your spouse and his/her attorney, and any other person the court believes has a proper interest in your case, may view your divorce file.


The best way to keep your divorce private is to work directly with your spouse through attorneys to effectuate an amicable settlement agreement regarding your divorce, such as child support, spousal support, custody/visitation, and property division, by mutual agreement before filing for a divorce. Not only does this keep the details of your marriage and impending divorce private, but it will typically result in a major cost-savings to you and provide you with a result that you are happy with and may not otherwise receive if your divorce was litigated before a judge in court.

Author:  Nicole Grejda