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Candidate's private divorce records may become public


In New York a court may elect to provide a couple with closed proceedings when the parties go through a divorce. Closed proceedings may be granted for many reasons, but generally such accommodations are made when the interests of children involved in the divorce support such action or when preserving the interests of the parties outweighs the importance of providing the public with openness in the judicial proceedings. Celebrities and high-profile individuals are often able to secure closed proceedings and sealed divorce records when their marriages come to their legal ends.

One individual who has experienced a closed New York divorce is Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump. In 1990 Trump divorced his then-wife Ivana Trump in a proceeding that excluded the public. Since the commencement of his political career, however, the real estate mogul has seen a number of media outlets work toward having the details of his private divorce released.

Though the motivations of the parties seeking to unseal Trump's divorce records are related to his current position as the Republican candidate for the American presidency, the fact that the records may become public knowledge is important for all New Yorkers to recognize. While parties to a sealed divorce may believe that their private deliberations will remain out of the public eye forever, their previously sealed records may eventually be released if a compelling legal argument can be made for such action to be taken.

Regardless of a reader's political inclinations for or against Trump for president, almost anyone can understand the concern a party may feel about seeing his private divorce story made public. To learn more about grounds for divorce in New York and ways of maintaining privacy during such a personal time, readers are encouraged to speak with their family law attorneys.

Source: USA TODAY, "Gannett and N.Y. Times ask court to unseal 1990 Trump divorce records," Paul Singer, Aug. 12, 2016

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