Tulsa, OK Criminal Defense & Family Law Blog

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Shelton and Lambert’s Divorce File Sealed

Can you have your divorce file sealed from public view in the state of Oklahoma?

Most of the time divorce is not pretty. It is therefore understandable that some people would prefer to keep the details of their divorces private. When celebrities divorce, this can become a problem because there are usually various individuals and media news sources searching for information about the case. If parties wish to conceal certain information from the public, they can ask to have the records of the case sealed. Such is the case with country music stars Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert. 

Shelton and Lambert were married for 4 years and resided in Oklahoma. Shelton filed for divorce on July 6, 2015 in Pottawatomie County. The couple was officially divorced by decree July 20, 2015. Judge John Gardner of Pottawatomie County decided to seal the couple's divorce records. Unfortunately, many have found this to be contrary to state law.

In Oklahoma, according to state law passed in November 2014, in order to seal the records of a case, there must be a privacy interest that is greater than that of the public interest in the information sealed. Representative Aaron Stiles has said that he cannot see how this test in met in this case. Rather, he believes the case was sealed due to the couple’s celebrity status. Are other wealthy and/or well-known Oklahoma citizens asking for their cases to be sealed? Is this a privilege the state only allows to upper class citizens? Without these questions answered, Stiles is concerned about fairness. Judge Gardner has defended his decision stating that allowing the couple’s divorce record to be public would compromise their personal and financial privacy.  Still, many are not convinced.

If you are facing a divorce and have concerns about privacy, you need a lawyer you can trust to fight for your rights. 

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