Divorce is challenging and overwhelming as it is. However, if you add in the interference and scrutiny from outside parties, it gets even more difficult. When the divorcing parties are high-profile or affluent, privacy can seem like a luxury.
Working with seasoned divorce attorneys is the first step you can take to maintain your privacy during the proceedings. Other ways you can effectively keep sensitive details out of the public eye include:
Tip #01: Avoid Social Media
If you are not careful, social media can easily derail divorce proceedings. Keep in mind that creating hostile posts about the other party can have negative repercussions in court. For the time being, keep your security settings private.
It is also recommended that you encourage family and friends not to post anything negative about the divorce or your significant other. Also, remind them not to leave any negative or derogatory comments on your profile or the other party’s profile.
As a general rule of thumb, don’t share any details about the proceedings with anyone. Moreover, don’t mention anything about it online. If you want to play safe, it would also be a good idea to deactivate your social media account for the time being.
Tip #02: File a Motion to Have Your Case Sealed
This might not be common knowledge, but the public has access to divorce court records. This means any interested party can have access to information and details about your divorce.
In line with this, it would be a good idea to ask your divorce attorney to file a motion to have your case sealed. However, the court needs to grant the motion first before your divorce records are kept out of the public eye.
Tip #03: Ensure Important Documents are Protected
If you are still living with your significant other or if other people are living with you at home, make sure critical documents are kept inside a locked file cabinet or lockbox.
Some of the essential documents you need to secure include your court documents, social security card, and even your medical records.
Tip #04: Be Careful When Answering Personal Questions
While it is customary to confide in close friends and family members during your divorce, you need to still control the information you share with others. When asked personal questions or any information about your divorce, you can politely tell them you would rather not discuss it.
Keep in mind that the less information you share with others, the fewer the complications that can arise.
Tip #05: Consider Mediation
Not all divorce proceedings have to occur in the conventional courtroom. Mediation will enable both parties to work with a mediator. No record will be made of the proceedings in mediation, and no information will become public knowledge.
It is also crucial that you work with a skilled attorney who can guide you and help you decide if mediation is right for you. If both parties agree to work amicably, mediation is an option you can look into.
Tip #06: Avoid Any Drama
The more dramatic and sensational your divorce is, the more interesting it can be to others. Since emotions can run high, it can be challenging to keep all the drama out of the proceedings. Fortunately, you have the option to minimize opportunities for conflict.
Start by limiting your communication with your ex-spouse to email. You also have the option to communicate with the other party through your divorce attorney.
Securing Your Privacy Online
If you are going through a difficult divorce, it is also recommended that you take steps to protect the integrity of your online accounts so you can move forward with confidence and peace of mind. To secure your privacy online, keep the following basics in mind:
Tip #01: Change Your Password
Change all your passwords for unshared personal and financial accounts. If you suspect spyware on your computer at home, change the passwords from a safe computer. Avoid logging in if you think your computer is compromised.
It would also be best to skip the WiFi at home and use a secure MiFi instead. Ensure you log off from shared devices and don’t tick the “remember me” box.
Tip #02: Purchase a New Mobile Phone and Data Plan
While you have the option to change your password and turn off any shared services, you can also consider purchasing a new mobile phone and data plan for your added peace of mind. This can help warrant your spouse won’t have access to your call history and text messages.
Once you have your new phone, make sure you secure it with a fingerprint or PIN and enable the 2-factor authentication. This way, even if your current password is compromised, no one can access your accounts without your new phone.
Tip #03: Check for Spyware
Spyware is a type of software you can install on your phone or computer, usually for a monthly fee. You can use different kinds of spyware to monitor the content of your outgoing and incoming emails, web searches, and text messages.
It is also important to remember that it is illegal to put spyware on your spouse’s computer or phone. If you suspect you are being spied on, check with your divorce lawyer or contact the authorities.
Tip #04: Turn Off Shared Cloud Services and Shared Devices
Consider disabling information-sharing across services and devices, including iCloud, Google, Amazon, Dropbox, and many more. Clouds can be tricky, especially for those who are not tech-savvy. To ensure you don’t miss any crucial steps, it would be a good idea to invest in the help of a technology specialist.
Tip #05: Check Applications on Devices You Own and Disable GPS Permissions
There are instances when spouses put GPS trackers on the other party’s phone without their knowledge. That said, check your list of apps and double-check if you have shared your location with anyone.
If you find any privacy or technology issues challenging to manage during your divorce proceedings, seek the guidance of your divorce attorney. Your divorce lawyer can help ensure you can navigate any privacy issues with ease and go through the proceedings as smoothly as possible.
About the Author:
Andrea Williams is the Community Manager at The Law Offices of Alcock & Associates P.C., a premier law group in Arizona that provides legal services to clients involved in Personal Injury, DUI, Immigration and Criminal cases. She enjoys cooking, reading books and playing minigolf with her friends and family in her spare time.