Protecting assets may require online efforts

Jul 31 2014 - Posted by , in Divorce, Property Division, Tagged in Property Division

Few would argue that the modern era isn’t heavily saturated with the influence of technology. From computers to smartphones to everything in between, Texans store an incredible amount of personal information in these ubiquitous devices. What some individuals may not realize is the importance of properly attending to these technologies during divorce.

While protecting assets has never been easy, accomplishing that task nowadays can take a bit more effort. Recently, a study from McAfee revealed that important personal information may be easily accessible to spouses during and even after divorce. For example, the study showed that over 95 of those surveyed trusted their spouses with information such as account passwords and sensitive photographs. However, a much smaller percentage, about 32 percent, indicated that they asked their former partners to delete that information when the relationship ended.

In addition, out of the adults surveyed, one-fifth mentioned that they access their partner’s Facebook account once each month or more. Finally, about a third of survey respondents noted that they “stalked” their partner’s ex via social media. While none of these activities are necessarily cause for concern, they can become worrisome if an acrimonious split ends up taking place. One’s ex having access to one’s bank accounts, for instance, could provoke a host of financial problems that were never expected when passwords were first shared between spouses.

When property division actually takes place, it’s important to thoroughly review all shared accounts. Closing joint accounts and opening new ones individually can protect both spouses from damaged credit from the other’s activities. Even accounts long-forgotten for cards which are no longer used are worth looking-into and possibly changing. In addition, it may be helpful to refrain from too much social media activity during divorce, since the temptation may also be strong to lash out online when emotions run high. In order to truly safeguard assets during and after divorce, it’s often best to prioritize diligence, thoroughness and trusted advice.

Source:, “Divorcing? Protect your finances, personal data,” Jason Alderman, July 26, 2014

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