Some of the most private information about you is often contained in your medical records. However, medical records often become a contention in divorce. You may be asked to sign a release so the medical provider can produce your medical records to your spouse. The question then becomes whether the records are relevant to any issue in dispute.

If you are requesting spousal support and are claiming you cannot work because of your medical condition, then your medical records may be relevant to show whether your medical condition prohibits you from working. In such a case the Court will probably require you to sign a release so the medical provider can produce your records.

Similarly, if parenting time is in dispute and you or your spouse are claiming that a medical condition affects the ability to parent, then medical records may be relevant. If either parent has seen a counselor or is in therapy, mental health records may also be relevant.

Talk with your lawyer about your rights. There are a number of options that may be available to keep or prevent the disclosure of your information. If the records are not relevant to any issue and are just being requested to harass you, then your lawyer may be able to obtain a protective order so that the records do not have to be disclosed, or disclosure is limited. Even if the records are relevant to a pending issue, you can limit dissemination of the records by obtaining a confidentiality order.

In Arizona, a confidentiality order is available to restrict a party or person from disclosing information or documents to anyone outside the litigation. A party wishing to obtain a confidentiality order must either obtain a stipulation and agreement from the other party, or seek a court order. To obtain a confidentiality order from the Court, the Court requires a party requesting such an order to show "good cause." Thus, you, or your attorney if you are represented, will need to present to the Court specific reasons why dissemination of the information should be limited.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.