Protecting Finances and Privacy in Divorce

A successful divorce requires time, energy, and recognizing that the relationship has changed from a shared existence to one with firm dividing lines. For legal and financial reasons, it's important for each spouse to protect their privacy and finances as soon as divorce becomes an issue. In addition, protecting personal and financial privacy can be essential to getting the best outcome out of the divorce process.

Recommended Steps

Experts recommend a number of steps to establish dividing lines in the digital age. First, divorcing spouses should immediately set up individual bank accounts and apply for independent credit cards. This applies to all checking, savings, credit card, investment, retirement and other accounts. Consider deactivating or establishing rules for joint credit card accounts. This will help protect finances, privacy, and financial independence during the turbulent period of divorce.

Review any online financial accounts, including retail accounts, as soon as possible. For example, online retail accounts are often streamlined to allow for one-click family purchases. It's important to remove automatic payments, delete saved credit card information and separate spousal accounts to prevent any unwelcome surprises.

Change internet passwords as soon as possible and block access to personal information to protect financial and social media accounts. Many divorcing spouses underestimate the importance of maintaining privacy in their social lives, and social media sites like Facebook makes it easy to keep tabs on a spouse.

Similarly, an individual safe deposit box can help protect personal assets. Review and adjust wills as soon as possible to account for the changed circumstances of the marriage. Individual, password-protected cell phones are essential for protecting privacy, particularly if the other spouse doesn't know about possible divorce plans. Consider setting up a separate mail box. However, spouses should never take the illegal step of hiding assets or debts.

Why Independence is Essential

These steps are essential to rebooting an independent life at the start of the divorce process. Further, these steps can help prevent damage during the court's determination of the division of assets, spousal support and child custody and support. For example, damaging online photos or evidence of infidelity can lead to adverse divorce outcomes. It is essential for divorcing spouses to embrace the process rather than putting off these steps until the last minute. An experienced divorce attorney can provide spouses with legal advice and help navigate the divorce process.