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Do the ground for divorce stated on papers become public knowledge?

(16 Posts)
MissMemoo Wed 10-Oct-12 12:17:21

Will everything I tell the solicitor be put down on the papers and then do those those things enter the public domain?

I have very good reasons for divorce but there is no way I want anybody else to be able to see those reasons.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Oct-12 12:19:09

How badly have you been behaving?

MissMemoo Wed 10-Oct-12 12:20:45

I haven't been behaving badly at all!

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Oct-12 12:29:39

Unlike birth/marriage/death records there is no way to casually check out divorce records online. Someone can apply to see a decree absolute in writing. These only contain top-line information - names, dates - as proof the marriage has been concluded.

MissMemoo Wed 10-Oct-12 12:38:46

So a judge won't read my application out in court?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Oct-12 12:42:41

Unless your divorce is particularly complex or contentious I don't think it would merit any mention in court beyond the same details... names, dates etc. What would be the problem if it was read out? Who are you protecting?

SoupDragon Wed 10-Oct-12 12:43:50

I don't think anything gets read out if it is uncontested. I imagine the judge just sits down with a rubber stamp. I didn't have to go to listen to anything.

MissMemoo Wed 10-Oct-12 13:20:44

Who am I protecting? I think you've got the wrong end of the stick. My ex did some things to me that I don't want anyone to know about.

MissMemoo Wed 10-Oct-12 13:21:31

Thanks soup.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 10-Oct-12 13:23:26

It all generally gets classed as 'unreasonable behaviour'.

MissMemoo Wed 10-Oct-12 13:29:00

Thanks Cogito.

AlexanderS Wed 10-Oct-12 13:38:12

The grounds for divorce do not become public knowledge, no.

Remembers ex ringing to scream abuse at me after he received the divorce papers because I'd made him "look bad" and being unable to convince him that they would just be filed in a box somewhere by the court and never see the light of day

mumblechum1 Wed 10-Oct-12 13:42:08

Hi OP, as a recently retired divorce lawyer I can assure you that the only people who see your petition and the other docs are the court staff and the two firms of solicitors.

When it comes to the Decree Nisi being made, a clerk stands up in an empty court room, reads out a great long list of names and the judge says "Granted".

izzyizin Wed 10-Oct-12 14:48:38

Apart from solicitors, Court officials, etc, only the Petitioner, Respondent, and Co-respondent(s) if applicable, are privy to the content of a Petition for Divorce.

Having checked to ensure all documents are in order, the clerk of the Court presents them to a judge who effectively rubber stamps them unless, of course, a Respondent has contested a Petition in which case a date is set for a Hearing.

SongToTheSiren Wed 10-Oct-12 14:50:12


I was a Court admin officer a couple of years ago and my main area of work was divorce cases. The only people who would be able to read your petition are admin staff (and that probably would only be a few people depending on the particular Court) and the Judges. No details are put on the Decree Nisi or Absolute. No one else is allowed to know any details of cases and we never gave out any details to people unconnected with the case. So we would only ever communicate with the Petitioner and Respondent and/ or their solicitors. New partners, other relatives, friends etc would not be given any details at all, even if they rang us or came in, due to confidentiality and data protection. Even after a case was finished no one other than the involved parties and solicitors would be allowed to see the case file.

Also the Family courts aren't really like the Crown Court in that members of the public unconnected with the particular case aren't allowed into hearings- there's no public gallery. So if your case did require hearings then no one outside the involved parties would be allowed in unless the parties and the Judge were happy for them to do so - which is rare.

I hope that helps, wishing you well.

MissMemoo Wed 10-Oct-12 15:08:26

Thank you so much. Your replies really put my mind at rest. Much appreciated.

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