North Carolina Divorce FAQ: Are Divorce Records Public?

Written by Jonathan Breeden

October 16, 2020

Couples who file for divorce often experience a great deal of stress during the process. It’s probably a very emotional time, and you may want to maintain your privacy by keeping this painful part your life out of public view. However, like most court documents, NC divorce records are a matter of public record.

If you have questions about how to handle your divorce as discretely as possible, contact North Carolina divorce lawyer Jonathan Breeden at (919) 661-4970.

With over 20 years experience and local offices in Raleigh, Garner, Angier, and Smithfield, attorney Jonathan Breeden will review your situation and help you file for divorce and maintain as much privacy as possible.

North Carolina Divorce Records

North Carolina courts maintain that the public has the right to access most court documents. This includes divorce documents. Therefore, divorce records are available and generally free of charge or can be copied for 25 cents a page.

These records are typically kept in files in the clerk of courts’ offices. They may also be accessed through the North Carolina Department of Vital Records. Certified copies or expedited access may require a fee.

Why Do People Access Divorce Records

Divorce records may be useful if you wish to remarry or need to show proof of divorce. NC divorce records include significant information, including full names, addresses, dates of marriage and separation, and other personal details. However, the following information may have been redacted from official documents that are available publicly:

  • Social Security numbers of parties and children
  • Driver’s license numbers
  • Employer taxpayer or state identification numbers
  • Checking and savings account information
  • Credit and debit card account information
  • Financial details regarding spousal and child support

How to Maintain Privacy During a Divorce

Because divorce records are public information, anyone can access them. But, you can and should take actions that maintain your privacy. For example, if you were a victim of domestic violence, you may not be required to provide an address for public records. You may also use your attorney’s address on public records or an address for the North Carolina Attorney General office as part of North Carolina’s address confidentiality program.

If you wish to keep details about your property private, you may sign a separation agreement prior to the divorce. The separation agreement will determine how debts and assets are allocated; however, if the agreement includes a clause that states it cannot be incorporated in the divorce, then it does not become part of the public record.

An experienced North Carolina divorce attorney can help you draft a separation agreement that will be accepted by the court and prevent your private information from becoming public.

Get Help from a North Carolina Divorce Attorney

A North Carolina divorce lawyer can help you prepare the appropriate documents and develop an argument for keeping your personal information private.

Attorney Jonathan Breeden of Breeden Law Offices has spent more than 20 years working with local courts on a variety of divorce and family law issues, making him a valuable resource for residents looking to get their divorces sealed. To find out what you need to do for your case, call (919) 661-4970 today.


Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden