How to Navigate Your “Digital Divorce”

As you prepare for your divorce or legal separation in New Mexico, you’ve got a lot to do. You need to prepare documents, think about your future, organize your finances, and speak to a family law attorney. But there is another side to divorce these days, too, and it’s one that too many people neglect to handle: the “digital” divorce.

We are all largely dependent on technology today, with social media, cloud storage, smartphones, streaming, online shopping, online dating, and even online medicine all becoming part of the daily landscape. Unsurprisingly, your digital life is usually impacted by a divorce, too, which is why you should take the steps below as soon as you decide to divorce.

Change Passwords and Review Your Apps

Change all of your passwords immediately. Just leaving one password not changed could give your spouse access to things you don’t want them to have access to. For example, thanks to a family plan, your spouse could access your texts, location, emails, and more if they have access to your Apple ID account.

If you’re on any shared cloud-based storage services, such as Google Cloud or iCloud, you should remove yourself. Back up all of the important information stored on those services onto a separate cloud account that only you can access. Bear in mind that there is no point in deleting things, even if you’re concerned about them coming up in court. They can still be retrieved, and you may face legal trouble for doing so. If you have any concerns about things you find on the cloud, share those items with your family law attorney.

Review all online services and apps you’ve used on your devices or shared devices, and ensure those accounts are not linked to your spouse. Change those passwords as well. Your spouse, for example, could use your Lyft account to see where you are going.

Watch Your Social Media

Social media is a common way to talk to your friends and family. However, before you post anything on your social media accounts, stop and consider how this could impact your divorce case. The last thing you need is a photo, video, or text post–however innocent it seems to you at the time–to damage your case. Once you’ve changed all your social media passwords, you need to make your account as private as possible. This may also mean removing people who may “report” your posts to your spouse.

Keep in mind that even if you limit someone’s access to your accounts or block them using the privacy settings, they still may get into your account or its content in other ways. For example, your spouse could use your child’s login to see what is on your pages. This is why you need to limit all your activity and communications on your social media accounts. Never discuss your divorce or the issues within it on social media, including your feelings on the judge in the case. It’s important to avoid talking negatively about your spouse on there, too. If you feel the need to vent about your spouse or the divorce, do so in person and in private with someone you trust.

If you have any social media concerns or posts you want to share, contact your family law attorney. They will be able to guide and help you in this tricky divorce area.