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How Can I Protect My Privacy During a Divorce?

Posted On July 17, 2023 In Divorce

Going through a divorce is always distressing, but sometimes a bad situation becomes even worse when your spouse or other parties invade your privacy during this sensitive time. Between personal matters becoming the subject of public records and the possibility of a contentious spouse accessing information and accounts to undermine your desired outcome in the divorce, it may feel like your life is no longer your own.

In this age of digital information, it’s easier than it once was for people to access your private information, and during a contentious divorce, this could be manipulated and used against you. It’s important to begin protecting your information and maintaining privacy from the moment you decide that divorce is inevitable in your situation. Failing to safeguard your private interactions could have a negative impact on your future financial situation, peace of mind, and even child custody.

Change Your Passwords to Protect Your Privacy

As soon as you and your spouse separate, it’s important to change your passwords on all of your personal accounts. First, open your own checking and savings accounts. Ask a Chandler family law attorney how they recommend you handle closing out joint accounts or removing your name or your spouse’s name. Then do the following:

  • Change the password on your email account so your spouse can’t read important documents or information sent to you by your attorney
  • Change the unlock pins or keys on your phone, computer, and other devices
  • Change the password on your cash apps and PayPal accounts.
  • Change passwords on any streaming services in your name only or remove your name from shared services and open new streaming accounts and subscriptions of your own with passwords unrelated to any you’ve used in the past
  • Change the passwords on your social media accounts
  • Unfriend your soon-to-be ex-spouse on social media so they can’t use your posts out of context against you or engage in online character attacks
  • Avoid posting on social media until after the final divorce hearing

Maybe long after the dust settles on the divorce you and your ex-spouse can be civil and even become friends again—which is the best-case scenario when you co-parent children together—but emotions become heated during divorce and even good people do regrettable things.

Finally, disable any tracking apps that you might have shared with your spouse that lets them track your location.

Change Your Mailing Address

Even if you normally receive your mail at home and you’re staying in the family home during and after the divorce, consider getting a post office box and using it for all divorce-related documents and important communications you wish to keep private. If you are the spouse who moved out of the marital home, be sure to change your address as soon as possible so important documents aren’t sent to the address where your spouse now lives. 

Protecting Yourself in Public Records During Divorce

Unfortunately, much of the information exchanged during divorce proceedings becomes a matter of public record. Anything your spouse alleges against you in their attempts to gain custody of the children or to keep you from taking your fair share of the marital assets could later come back to haunt you in your career or personal life even if the allegations are untrue.

Ask your attorney to protect your privacy in every way possible including:

  • Settling all matters of shared custody and equitable distribution of marital assets through mediation with your spouse rather than in a court battle
  • Using confidential filing methods whenever possible or appropriate
  • Redacting sensitive information from court filings, including account numbers and social security numbers
  • Ask the judge to seal the file from public view if it includes information that could negatively impact you or your children in the future. Sometimes judges allow this privacy measure, especially when it’s in the best interests of the children

Keep in mind that any underhanded tactics your spouse uses against you may cause the judge to look at them disfavorably in court. However, protecting sensitive and private information during this emotionally fraught time can help prevent challenging legal situations from adding to the stress of the divorce process.