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Divorce and your digital life

There are many issues to resolve in a divorce. If you have minor children, your most important considerations are likely the parenting plan and child support. Property division is also a key part of divorce, which could include a home, retirement assets and other items of significant value.

Understandably, issues such as online passwords and shared streaming services may take a backseat to other considerations. However, shared passwords can play a larger role post-divorce than you might imagine. NPR reports that most adults under age 35 use someone else's password to watch Netflix, as just one example.

Don't forget your online life

After a breakup, couples have reported numerous issues with previously shared online services and apps. These can range from petty (such as changing your Netflix password right when you are ready to binge your favorite show) to the frightening (tracking your movements or dates through apps or spyware). It can also be emotionally draining to see your ex's name every time you want to watch a show or have your ex know you are listening to certain songs through a shared music streaming service.

While an inconvenience, some online separations can be done over time, when you and your ex are ready. However, many digital issues need to be resolved as soon as divorce is filed.

Take these actions online when divorcing

As soon as the divorce is underway, consider doing these things as soon as possible:

  • Secure important online info immediately. Nothing good can come from your ex poking around your email, for example. This includes changing your smartphone PIN, online banking information, and others. 
  • If in doubt, change passwords/resolve issues. Make a list of what passwords you need to change. Consider your streaming services, monthly subscriptions, social media accounts and others. If uncertain, err on the side of changing the password/resolving the issue now, rather than later. 
  • Avoid posting about your divorce or ex. Everyone needs to vent, but do it safely away from the public, which includes Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other social media service. Posts are often used as evidence in custody disputes.

You may also wish to secure your personal devices. Spyware is, unfortunately, easy to procure. Wiping your Smartphone can prevent your ex from tracking your movements, as one example.

Take the time to resolve online issues during divorce

Getting your own streaming services can add cost to your divorce. However, getting your own subscriptions to these services and separating your online lives can pay off both now and in the long-term. And, as a benefit, you'll never have to log on to Netflix and see that show you absolutely hate suggested for you to watch next.

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