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Decision to seal divorce case contradicts state’s legal precedent

It likely may not come as a shock to many in Clarksville that divorce cases between couples can often get ugly. The risk that those who choose to go through their proceedings in family court take is that the details of their cases then become a matter of public record. For some, that can include details about family disputes, financial misfortunes, cases of infidelity, and domestic violence accusations. While some may argue that such details do not need to be shared with the public, others may claim that a couple should understand that the decision to carry out its divorce in a public venue essentially invites outsiders in to see the details of their cases.

That does not appear to be the case, however, in the divorce of an Ohio state senator and his soon-to-be ex-wife (who also serves as a local country recorder). A judge recently approved the couple’s request that its case be sealed from public view. This seems to contradict a 2004 ruling from the state’s Supreme Court that says any records regarding such matters are subject to public record release laws. While the husband’s attorney insists that this motion was made in an attempt to protect the couple’s children from having to hear news of their public figure parents’ breakup broadcast on the news, the couple’s history suggests there may be details they simply do not want shared. Police records show that law enforcement officials had been called to the couple’s home in the past in response to a domestic violence incident (from which no charges ended up being filed).

Having the details of one’s personal life shared during divorce proceedings may not be something one looks forward to. Having an attorney intervene on one’s behalf may end up limiting the public exposure of such information.