I don’t want my ex to know where I live, can I keep this information secret?

Many people come in and ask our office this question because they have legitimate concerns regarding the other party.  Most importantly, these cases often involve allegations of family violence or there is a pending protective order already in place.  If you are afraid of your ex in any way, you need to notify the proper authorities and your attorney.

Your right to privacy in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship is located within Texas Family Code Section 153.012 which states that the Court has discretionary authority to order your residence information to be deleted from a court order before the order is released to the other parent.  It does not give specific guidelines as to when the Court can order this and it is, as we stated, discretionary in that it states “the court may.”  Therefore, it is important to discuss all reasons why you feel this information should be withheld from the other party.

If you are seeking or have a protective order in place, then Texas Family Code Section 85.007 guides with respect to confidentiality of certain information.  If you have a protective order then you, anyone in your family or household can request that the Court exclude the address and telephone number from the order of: (a) a person protected by the order (it would only state the county where you reside); (b) the employment or business of a person protected by the order; or (c) child-care facility (daycare) or school of child protected by the order.  Once you have made this request, the Court will strike the information and it will be kept for court purposes only.

If your case is one that involves children and there is not a pending protective order and visitation is allowed, then there can be provisions put into place in your final custody orders to continue to protect your residence from being disclosed.  For instance, visitation exchange can occur at a mutually agreed upon location.

It is important to ensure that all of your rights are protected and that information that should be kept confidential be ordered as such.  Contact an attorney at Guest & Gray today to schedule your consultation.  Our family law team is ready to help.