Hartley, Maxwell, & Castellano Attorneys at Law
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5 things to do online when getting divorced

These days, the Internet isn't just something we use casually. It's a part of our lives.

It's where we connect with people. It's how we communicate and keep in touch. It's where we do our banking, share our photo albums and buy everything from a new TV to a new car to a new house. For some people, all of their work is based on the Internet, and they never have to go to the office.

That's why, if you're getting divorced, it's important not to ignore the Internet or use it incorrectly. Below are five things you should do:

1. Avoid ranting on social media.

Maybe you found out that your spouse was unfaithful. You're angry, and you want to vent. You want everyone to know what he or she did. That's natural, but remember that anyone could read that post. You can never take it back. You may delete it, but it could live on in screenshots and archives. Once something gets online, it's virtually impossible to take it back.

2. Change every single password.

You don't want your spouse to have access to your profiles and accounts, even before the divorce gets finalized. Were you close enough to share passwords? Change them immediately. This is true for social media, email accounts, online banking and much more.

3. Make sure any Internet-connected gadgets are secure.

You also need to make sure your ex can't access gadgets like a smartphone, a tablet or a computer. Change those passwords and codes, as well as the online ones. Remember, many gadgets also connect to things like televisions, home security systems, cameras, gaming systems and far more. Make sure you're safe.

4. Change any social media privacy settings.

In addition to changing your passwords, it's wise to alter your privacy settings on social media accounts. Take a step back and decide how much you want your soon-to-be ex to see. Do you even want to be friends online? The answer differs from one couple to the next.

5. Cancel any services that you both share.

Shared services could include things like online banking, investment portfolios and credit cards. It could also include things like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, your cable TV subscription or even, for some couples, joint social media accounts. It's time to shut all of these down so that you can avoid any future issues.

The good news is that these are all changes you can make relatively quickly if you buckle down and make it a priority. Divorce is different in the online age. Make sure you're ready for it. Keep any potential legal ramifications in mind and be sure you understand your rights -- to online privacy and so much more.

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