We live in a world that’s increasingly technological — which means that part of divorce includes disentangling yourself from your spouse wherever you’re connected through tech.
Most of the time, people think that means changing the password on their Netflix account once they move out so their ex-spouse can’t share the service from a distance. But that’s only the start of the steps you need to take.
Here’s how to protect yourself from technological issues that could ultimately affect your divorce — and your future:
1. Close the shared email.
Do you and your spouse have a “family” email account? It’s time to deactivate it. Send all of your contacts a brief note asking them to contact you — and you alone — at your private email account. Make sure that you forward any important attachments or messages you’re storing in the account to your new email account and then change the settings so that all new incoming emails bounce back to the sender.
Don’t delete the account unless your attorney advises you that it’s permissible. For now, simply change the password and lock it down. This can keep your spouse out of your private business.
2. Create new passwords for all your online accounts.
This means your bank account, credit cards, iCloud, Flickr, Photobucket and Dropbox accounts, as well as your online brokerage accounts, insurance policies and entertainment services. Make sure your PayPal account, eBay, Amazon and Facebook accounts are also locked down. If need be, close them out entirely and create new ones using your new email account.
Be smart: Use a random password your spouse won’t guess and make sure that your security questions are equally obscure (or use made-up answers).
3. Download all photos and other digital assets to a USB drive.
If you’re like most people, you have a lot of digital assets, including photos, important documents and other files stored online or on a computer. Download a copy of everything and take it with you when you move out.
Again, don’t delete the files without reason. The goal is to preserve a copy of these items for yourself — not hurt your spouse.
Your divorce can be complicated by a number of issues. Whatever they are, our office can help you decide how to proceed.