Once upon a time, all you had to do to separate your life from your spouse’s was pack up your things, open a new bank account and set a forwarding address for your mail.
Today, it can be a lot harder to disentangle your lives because you probably share a lot of digital connections.
Assume your spouse is spying on you
There’s an old saying that goes, “It isn’t paranoia when someone’s really out to get you.” This is never more true than in a divorce. It’s always best to assume that your spouse is nosing through everything they can access to see what they can learn – usually in the hopes that they’ll find something useful to their position when it comes to the division of the marital property, support or custody.
With that in mind, take the following steps:
- Change your email passwords. In fact, you may want to change your email address entirely. Even if you are no longer sharing a home with your spouse, you could have accidentally left yourself logged in on an electronic device they can access.
- Enable two-factor authentication for financial accounts. Whether it’s your checking, savings or credit cards, change your passwords and set up two-factor authentication tied to your phone so that nobody can access the accounts without your awareness.
- Close online shopping accounts. Whether it’s Amazon or Temu, your online shopping habits can provide a pretty big window into your world. Close out the accounts (and reopen them later with your new email, if you want).
- Lock down your cloud storage: You need to access and update your Apple storage, Google Drive, Dropbox and any other online accounts you use to store information. Make sure that you pick new passwords that your spouse cannot guess.
- Avoid social media: It’s usually best to avoid social media entirely during a divorce. If you can’t bear to delete your accounts, consider locking down their privacy settings, deleting anybody you don’t know (and trust) personally and making sure that you have new passwords.
Finally, seeking early legal guidance to get help with the divorce process can be the wisest move of all. That way, you can get recommendations that are tailored to your unique situation.