In 2020, everything is online. Shared calendars, logged in email accounts on family computers, Find My Friends, Uber receipts, and tons of other online applications can make or break facts and evidence in a divorce proceeding. So, what, exactly, should you do to clean up your online presence during divorce proceedings? Here are a few helpful tips and tricks to make sure your online presence doesn’t sink your case.
DO Delete your soon to be ex-spouse, or at the very least, block them from seeing your content.
This should be done as soon as you have decided to separate. This could lead to a potential uncomfortable conversation, but there is no reason why you should allow your soon to be ex-spouse to continue to monitor your online presence and potentially gather evidence on you. This is a difficult, but necessary step. Depending on your situation, it also might be necessary to block their closest friends and allies from seeing your content, or just delete them altogether. However, DON’T delete your past content all together, as this could be spoliation of evidence. Often, a forensic scientist can find it anyways.
DO Change your privacy settings.
If you had a public Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or SnapChat, FourSquare, LinkedIn, Uber, Lyft, or Venmo account, make them private. Make sure all new posts are on the highest privacy settings available, including disabling yourself from being tagged in other people’s pictures and posts. This is often a step people miss and is a way for your soon to be ex to see what you are doing from other people’s pages.
DO Disable all location settings.
This can be done by going into your phone settings and disabling location on all your apps. This will ensure that your location tag will not automatically post when you open any app.
DO sign out of all your email, social media, and calendar accounts on all shared devices, including your kids.
There is no reason why you should give your soon to be ex-spouse access to your private accounts. You should also change all your usernames and passwords.
While you should at minimum, follow the above tips, the best advice is to refrain from using social media altogether for the remainder of the proceedings. The bottom line is – don’t post, say, or do anything that you wouldn’t want a judge to see. You should assume everything you do online or on your phone will be found and seen. If you’re debating whether sharing, commenting, liking, or posting something is a good idea, just don’t do it.