Is Your Privacy Protected During Divorce?
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Divorce on it’s own is a painful process and something we usually want to keep to ourselves particularly when it comes to the private details concerning finances and personal information. Yet, unfortunately there are people who like to know other people’s business and often use the information against the person. And in today’s high tech world, all it takes is a mere click of a button on your computer and you can gain information about anyone from the local county court clerk’s web site including detailed divorce statistics.
Public Records and Divorce
As just about everyone knows, the court clerks in every state have always kept public records that detail the most intimate and personal aspects of a person’s life and that includes divorce filings. Today, many of the court clerks are making those records available to anyone with an Internet browser which is making it even easier to get names, birth dates, mailing addresses, phone numbers and social security numbers. This type of access allows scammers to use the information for identity theft and given the fact that court records post divorce decrees, it’s now easier than ever to obtain any information about a person’s divorce.
Identity Fraud After Divorce
The crime of identity theft is at epidemic proportions, particularly since we are now able to access social security numbers so easily. Sharing information so readily in public records has become a major problem and is growing in leaps and bounds. Besides using this type of information for identity theft, there have also been reported cases where divorced people’s names are obtained for marketing solicitation. In fact, it was learned recently that a resort that catered to singles was accessing divorce files in an effort to obtain the names of the individuals strictly for marketing purposes. So, although it might be considered beneficial for records to be easily available on the Internet, it interferes with the right to privacy and does not allow one to keep divorce details confidential.
Financial Matters and Divorce
Yes, it has always been fairly easy to get this type of information but it usually took a little more effort by going through files and documents in a courtroom. With access to the Internet, it has now become too easy to discover information about a divorce case. In fact, a thief can quickly download thousands of records online without anyone paying attention or thinking anything about it. There is a great deal of controversy about the availability of these public records in a lot of states and some states are working hard at finding a way to change the posting of such personal information, as it greatly impinges on the privacy of others.
Banning public records altogether is certainly not the solution, because it’s important that public records be available. But when it comes to specific situations such as divorce, the type of information available should be edited in some way so that specific details such as social security numbers and financial data are not included. It would be okay if certain aspects of a divorce case are available, but they should not be easily downloadable online and they should not include social security numbers and financial information. Yes, there is a need for access to public records, but we have already discovered the risk of identity theft and therefore revealing personal things online should be eliminated. There is absolutely no reason that others should have easy access to such personal information.