Do I Need to Change My Passwords?

Your email account, social media accounts and even bank accounts are all accessible online—and if you’re married, you’re probably not the only one who has access to them.

You might have shared your login credentials, including your passwords, with your spouse once-upon-a-time… or your spouse might have employed some underhanded tactics, such as installing a keylogger on your computer or snooping through your email to get them.

It’s fine to share that information if you’re happily married, but what happens when you’re working with a divorce lawyer to strike out in your own direction?

Changing Your Passwords During Divorce
Your lawyer will probably advise you to change all your passwords as soon as you can. The first one to change is your email—that way, when you change the rest of your passwords, your spouse can’t just log in to your email account and retrieve the new ones.

It’s a pain, but it’s necessary. Focus on changing the most important passwords first, such as those for your personal bank accounts; then move on to social media, shopping and other accounts.

Changing Passwords on Joint Accounts
Before you change the passwords on your joint accounts, you absolutely must talk to your divorce lawyer. Joint ownership can create sticky situations, and locking your soon-to-be ex out of his or her bank account might be a lot like stomping on a hornet’s nest—and that rarely ends well for anyone.

What if Your Ex Doesn’t Have Your Passwords?
Even if you think your ex doesn’t have access to your online accounts (those that he or she shouldn’t have access to, that is), change the passwords anyway. If your ex has been spying, he or she could have them without your knowledge. Be smart: change them from a computer you don’t normally use or from a smartphone.

While you’re at it, adjust the settings on your social media accounts so that they’re private. That way, your ex can’t get access to what you’re posting and sharing without your express permission.

When to Call Your Divorce Lawyer
If you catch your ex spying on you or accessing online accounts without your authorization, you’ll need to let your divorce lawyer know right away. He or she can provide you with legal advice that helps you decide what to do next.

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