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1. CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS.
If you are divorcing, you may be sharing a password with your spouse as many married couples do, or your spouse may know your passwords. Don't think for a moment that because you think you have nothing to hide that your spouse may not read all your email or potentially do malicious things to your accounts. Remember: what you say in emails or text messages or social media such as Facebook or twitter or other forms of media may well be admissible in evidence against you in your divorce case.
Likewise, the websites that you visit or the material that you're looking at may become useful for your spouse. Like a trail of breadcrumbs your media trail may lead your spouse to things that can be brought up in Court such as your spending patterns or who you associate with or whether you were involved with someone else (even if you claim you were only friends.)
So create a unique and strong password(s). Don't forget that your spouse may know the answer to most common security questions such as your birthdate, your mothers maiden name and so forth, so change your security questions as well.
2. BE WARY OF JOINT ACCOUNTS.
You may want to cancel your joint bank accounts, your joint credit cards or your joint debt but you probably need to talk to an experienced divorce lawyer before you do this. There are pros and cons to the cancellation of accounts. One you may not be able to have access to money when you need it and secondly if you're the paying party, cutting off your spouse from all funds may not be a wise move.
Likewise, it may be difficult to close joint credit accounts without paying off the balances. Nonetheless, not having joint debt is a virtue and that you should seek to achieve if you are planning on a divorce.
Joint credit accounts, especially online, such as Amazon or eBay are much easier to close. Even shutting down shared Apple accounts or iCloud accounts through Apple is wise since these accounts offer a portal that your spouse can view to see your mail, contacts, photos even the locations that you been.
3. DON'T LET YOUR COMPUTER, TABLET OR SMART PHONE BETRAY YOU IN A DIVORCE.
Remember all of our smart devices have memories. Unlike people the memories on electronic devices may last forever. Even when there initially erased, the memories on these devices can be brought back to life by an expert. All of the materials on your device can live again and can be viewed even though you've tried to erase them. Best thing to do is get a new device whether it's a smart phone, tablet or computer make sure they are wiped clean so that they do not betray you in a divorce.
4. IF YOU THOUGHT SPYING WAS JUST FOR THE CIA OR NSA, YOU'RE WRONG, YOUR SPOUSE MAY TRY TO SPY ON YOU BEFORE, DURING AND EVEN AFTER A DIVORCE.
Spyware can be easily bought on the Internet and used against you. A soon to be ex spouse can purchase and plant a keylogger on your computer, tablet or smart phone that will log all of your actions that you do so that they can be retrieved later. And viewed by your soon-to-be ex spouse. Your ex can retrieve your passwords, your pin numbers, your bank accounts, even the phone calls and phone numbers of the people you are contacting. While the law may protect you in some circumstances, go to RadioShack and see how many spy gadgets are sold before you assume that the law will have your back. Also spyware can record your computer screen as though a camera was recording it. Every site that you view online, all of your emails and all of the documents and private chats you might have with anyone can be copied and viewed like a video by your spouse.
You wouldn't leave your diary around to be copied by your spouse, why would you leave your computer, tablet or smart phone around which may have considerably more embarrassing if not devastating information on it.
5. SOCIAL MEDIA EXPOSED.
While social media may be a wonderfull opportunity to connect with people you haven't seen for years, Your spouse is free to look at your media if even if it's private if they have the proper passwords etc. Searching out your high school girlfriend or boyfriend has put many a shaky marriage under.
Remember social media is the gift that keeps on giving. Social media lasts a lifetime. Anything you put on the Internet stays forever and has the potential to damage you not only with your soon-to-be ex spouse, the Judge in your divorce case, your children whether they're young or later become adults may read the material, future employers… Do I need to go on further.
If you are going through divorce you probably want your privacy settings to be reset to private. You don't want to share with the world what you are going through or creating evidence on the web they can be used against you.
We recently had case where the mother accused the father of being in a street gang. The father adamantly denied he was a Street game member. However, he could not deny his Facebook page where he was holding a gun and making hand gestures.
6. DIVORCE LAWYERS AND DIVORCE JUDGES USE THE INTERNET TOO.
Most divorce lawyers are young enough these days to be brought up with the Internet. They have the ability to research many things considered private in the past, but which are readily available on the Internet. Divorce cases may be won and lost by online information. Many a case has been made by online materials. We recently had a case where the Judge himself went online during the trial and asked both sides for permission to look at the website in question, A website that listed registered show dogs, their offspring and their owners. Each side said the website listed a certain show dog and it's offspring as their own. By looking online the Judge determined who was lying and who is telling the truth.
7. REMEMBER: YOUR CHILDREN ARE ON THE INTERNET TOO.
Children these days have their own smart phones or tablets or both. When your child goes for visitation, your ex, may pick up your child's phone or open their Facebook account. In other words, anything your kid can see, your ex spouse can see. Keep your eye on the ball. Remember we live in a much more transparent world than ever before. It won't get any better. Information will be shared even more readily in the future and privacy will become a thing of the past. Do your best to keep your private life private.
At Martoccio & Martoccio we have counseled thousands of spouses going through the roller coaster of divorce. Let us help you separate the emotional issues from what really matter to your future. Our lawyers at Martoccio & Martoccio have had many years of experience in the practice of Illinois divorce law representing clients in complex and simple divorces.
Contact us for free consultation. While the consultation itself maybe free to you, the advice that we give has been earned by us over many years of practice and experience in Illinois divorce law. Let us share that advice with you.