Tips for Protecting Your Privacy After You File For Divorce

When you file for divorce, there are certain precautionary steps everyone should take to not only begin the process of separating your life with your spouse, but also to help preserve your privacy. Here are some simple tips for protecting your privacy after you file for divorce and what we usually recommend to our own clients.

1.   Change your e-mail password. You should change your password, or get a new e-mail account. Your spouse should no longer be privy to your e-mails. For example, if you hire an attorney, your attorney communication via e-mail is likely something you want to be confidential, so you have to take actions in order to ensure it is. Even if your spouse never had access to your email, the password may be saved somewhere which would allow them to gain access. We have had many situations where we learn later that a spouse has been accessing our clients emails.

2.   Change all online passwords. Don’t stop at just changing your e-mail password or account; change your password on all other online accounts that you shared with your spouse. Again, even if you believe your spouse may not know it, it may be saved or noted somewhere.

3.   Open your own bank account. While your bank accounts are still “joint,” either party listed on the account can withdraw money. Open a new account as soon as you file for divorce so you do not have to worry about your money being withdrawn without your permission.

4.   Get your own credit card. Filing for divorce is the first step in beginning the separation of your life with your spouse. Begin to take steps, such as getting your own credit card, so that you and only you are responsible for your credit going forward. And, by doing so, it prevents your spouse from monitoring your activity or your spending.

5.  Get your own cell phone or transfer your line to your own account. Even though this may cost you money, you will have to do it in the long run anyway. And, if you have your own account, your spouse cannot monitor your usage or check the records of your telephone calls.

6.   “Unfriend” your spouse and your spouse’s family on Facebook. This may seem childish, but it is smart. What you say about your spouse on a public forum, and the pictures that you post of you leading your new “single” life, can be seen by your spouse, your spouses family, and anyone else who you are not careful to “unfriend” or delete.

7.   Backup your important documents, financial information and pictures. Unfortunately, some people react badly to a divorce and lash out to hurt their spouse. We have had situations where files and pictures are deleted or copied. Or, even worse, computers and laptops are intentionally damaged. It is better to be safe than sorry and you should have backups of these items anyway. Save your backups to an online service/cloud drive. Or, save them to a flash drive or external hard drive and keep these somewhere safe.

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding filing a divorce, please contact us at 414-258-1644 to schedule a free initial office consultation.

10 Do’s and Don’ts in a Wisconsin Divorce

  • DO NOT ignore communication from your attorney or the Court.  Although, at times, the frequency of communication may be overwhelming or stressful, it is important that you promptly review email and letters and respond to those and all phone calls.
  • DO know that one attorney cannot represent both parties in a family law matter.  If your spouse has hired an attorney, it is in your best interests to do the same.
  • DO promptly update your attorney’s office with changes in your contact information.  If you move or obtain a new phone number or email address, advise your attorney’s office immediately, so that they can keep in contact with you.
  • DO NOT assume that your attorney is aware of all issues within your case unless you advise them.  In order to minimize your legal costs, your attorney may assume a “no news is good news” approach.  In other words, if your attorney does not hear from you, they will assume that you do not have a legal need.  If you have questions or concerns, contact your attorney at any time.
  • DO NOT be ashamed if you need counseling or psychological help to deal with the stress and pain of a divorce.  Seeking help to ease you through the process may be one of the best decisions that you make in your case!
  • DO keep copies of all updated financial documents regarding your income, assets and debts.  Make sure that you provide your attorney with copies on a regular basis.
  • DO update your Financial Disclosure Statement whenever changes occur! This is especially important if you change jobs during the pendency of the case.
  • DO NOT discuss your divorce case with your children or allow anyone else to do so!  Your children should never be aware of court proceedings or issues in the case.  It is in your children’s best interests to be protected from the details of your divorce.
  • DO support your children’s relationship with their other parent.  Sometimes, this can be emotionally difficult, but all children benefit from a relationship with both parents.
  • DO work with your attorney to ensure the best possible outcome in your divorce case.  As your attorney, it is our job to educate our clients regarding the law to help you set realistic goals supported by law and help you make smart legal decisions.  In order to successfully proceed through your divorce, ask questions, listen to advice from your lawyer, respond to communication, attend all scheduled appointments and hearings, provide all requested information.  If you do this, you will be a prime position to protect your legal rights and survive your divorce case without unnecessary emotion or financial cost.

To schedule a free initial office consultation to discuss your divorce or alternatives, please contact us at 414-258-1644 or visit our website for further information.

-Alison H.S. Krueger