Even if you believe that your divorce will be amicable, it’s important to protect your interests. If it turns into a contentious process, that’s even more critical. You never know what kind of information can be used against you.
That means protecting your private information. For most of us, most of that involves electronic data that is accessible with a password and perhaps some additional verifying information. Let’s look at a few things you need to do sooner rather than later.
Change your passwords
Likely your spouse knows at least some of your passwords. Therefore, you should change all the passwords you use to access financial information (even shared credit cards and accounts), social media, email and more.
Don’t choose passwords involving your kids’ names, your favorite actor or anything your spouse could guess. That means they won’t be as easy for you to remember, so store them somewhere safe and inaccessible.
If possible, require secondary verification and notification if someone else logs on to your account. Change the questions that need to be answered to reset your password. If your spouse knows your mother’s maiden name and the name of your first pet, they could easily update your password and access an account.
Tone down your social media presence
Anything you post can become fodder in your divorce. A much-needed night out with friends could be used to paint you as an irresponsible parent. A Twitter argument with someone you don’t even know could make you look mentally unstable. Ask your friends not to include you in their posts when they share pictures of their Super Bowl party or other gatherings. Make your social media pages private and, as noted, change your passwords.
Be careful about removing posts
It’s common for divorcing people to delete anything they think could make them look bad. Be extremely cautious about that. First, the internet is forever, so those posts could have been saved before you got to them. Second, if your spouse can show that you removed evidence of criminal activity, like drug use or letting your teen and their friends drink at a pool party, you could face legal ramifications.
These are just a few things you can do to protect your privacy and yourself as you prepare for divorce. With experienced legal guidance, you can learn what other steps you may need to take depending on your individual situation.