If you know you’re headed toward divorce, it’s easy to sweat the big stuff and forget the small stuff.
There are some small things – especially related to household technology – that you’ll want to take care of before filing for divorce. There might be some things you don’t want your spouse to see, as well as some you don’t want your spouse to keep you from seeing.
Start with anything you share online, such as a Dropbox account with family photos or scans of important documents. You don’t want your spouse to change the password of things you’ve always freely shared. You’d hate not to have photos of birthdays, kids’ games or other special events. Download them to a flash drive.
You also will want to make your communication private. If you and your spouse share an email account, set up a new one and let everyone know your new address. Block friends’ email addresses from the old account so nothing gets through by mistake. Go through the saved email and either kill it out or forward it to your new address.
If you have a joint cellphone contract, pay any required cancellation fee to remove yourself from the plan. You just might not want your spouse to have access to your call logs.
You’ll also want to change all of your passwords and scrub your shared computer. Pick passwords your spouse never would predict, so stay away from kids’ names, your nickname or anything guessable. Mix it up with letters, numbers and symbols; use something silly such as “[email protected]@!!er.” (No one would guess that for “pancakebatter,” would they?) After you do that, erase your computer’s auto-fill and search history, then remove all files you don’t need. Put those that you do on a flash drive. Be sure to empty the trash.
If your phone is passcode protected, change it – again to something your spouse won’t recognize. You don’t want them to be able to set a tracker. If you and your spouse have apps that allow you to find each other via your cellphone, disable them.
And finally, take a break from social media, and purge anything you wouldn’t want a judge to see. Assume your spouse is watching your Facebook, Instagram and other pages.
Divorces can turn nasty, and there’s no reason to give a snooping spouse any ammunition. Ask your attorney for more tips.