Due to precautions related to COVID-19, we have expanded our options for remote consultations. Please contact our office to discuss whether a full phone consultation or video conference is appropriate for your situation.

EFFECTIVE LEGAL GUIDANCE FOR FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES

It is best to change passwords during a divorce

| May 5, 2020 | Family Law |

There is seemingly an endless number of details that need to be addressed during a divorce, even one that is amicable. Nevertheless, security experts believe it is a mistake for spouses to put off changing all their essential passwords, including those for email and social media platforms. Of course, there may be individual online accounts that it makes sense to share, mainly if they involve the children, but it is wise to start building at least a low fence between ex-spouses as they move on with their lives.

Digital privacy has become increasingly important as more and more of our personal information is stored online. Seemingly unimportant passwords should be changed as well if only to avoid the temptation of an ex-spouse checking on things that are no longer their business.

Protecting personal information

The divorcee opens new bank accounts and changes access to crucial financial information, but there are still many details online only protected by an old password:

  • Smart house: It is easy for an ex to check who is in the home, sees who rings the doorbell or even what the thermostat is set at.
  • Digital assistants: Alexa and other digital assistants can, unfortunately, be overly helpful if an ex-spouse stops by the home.
  • GPS: The spouse may have signed the papers for buying the car or taken in for servicing, so it would be easy enough for them to set up GPS access back then. Now they can track where and when the vehicle is used.
  • Computers: Laptops left on the counter provides easy access to all kinds of private information, including social media accounts and email.
  • The services: Maybe it is okay to share a Netflix account or a family phone plan, but changing a password or opening a new iTunes, Hulu or Open Table app is something to consider.

Clear boundaries often best

There is a “new normal” when parents divorce, but the parents should take steps too to create a life after marriage. Family experts encourage these as a great way to establish new ground rules for the new life that begins after divorce. While it may seem more symbolic than necessary, creating a wall of privacy can be critical, especially if the divorce was contentious or the ex was prone to jealousy.