A California family court judge put off a decision Monday on whether to unseal records in the divorce of Jack Ryan (search), the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Illinois.

Superior Court Judge Robert A. Schnider decided to send the matter to a court referee for study before resolving it.

Ryan, a millionaire investment banker, was divorced in 1995 from actress Jeri Ryan (search) of TV's "Boston Public" and "Star Trek: Voyager."

The judge said he first sealed documents in the case in 2001 because of concern for the welfare of the couple's child.

Ryan won the GOP nomination in the March 16 Illinois primary. Some of his Republican rivals raised the issue of the sealed papers, hinting that he was withholding documents because they contained embarrassing information.

Ryan has said he has released everything except for documents pertaining to his son.

Attorney Susan Seager, representing the Chicago Tribune (search) and a Chicago TV station, which want the files opened, said news organizations are in the position of "shadow boxing" because they do not know what is in the documents.