Once you’ve made the decision to divorce, one of the first steps you need to take is to establish some new boundaries with your spouse – particularly where it concerns your privacy.
It may feel awkward, at first, but separating your life from your spouse’s is what divorce is all about. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Make new expectations clear
Initiate an open and honest conversation with your spouse about your desire for privacy. Set clear boundaries regarding personal mail and social media accounts. While emotions might be high at the start, addressing privacy concerns upfront can help mitigate potential conflicts down the road – so it’s worth braving this talk early.
Separate your digital accounts
Begin by creating separate accounts for email, social media and other online services. Change passwords for your existing accounts and enable two-factor authentication where possible. This includes everything from your email account to your Zoom log-in.
Limit your social media use
Be mindful of what you post and share online during your divorce. Discussing personal matters or the divorce on social platforms could, at minimum, create unnecessary tensions that make the divorce less amicable – and damage your position regarding anything from custody to the division of property, at worst. Ideally, it’s better not to post at all, but if you don’t want to do that, consider making all new profiles and carefully curating your “friends” list to only people you know you can trust. At a minimum, adjust your privacy settings to control who can see your posts and “unfriend” your spouse and joint friends.
Secure your electronics
You don’t want your spouse to have unfettered access to your emails, text messages, chats or private financial records, so that means keeping your spouse out of your phone, laptop and tablet. Put new (unguessable) passwords on all of your devices and use biometric authentication when possible.
Keep paper documents under lock and key
Finally, consider diverting your mail to a friend or relative’s house or renting a post office box. That can keep your sensitive financial or legal correspondence out of your spouse’s hands.
Remember, you have the right to maintain your privacy throughout your divorce journey – and starting early can serve you well as you proceed.