Electronic accounts and divorce

Pennsylvania residents who are getting a divorce may want to be careful about how they handle their social media accounts and other electronic communications. These could all potentially become fodder for their spouse and their spouse’s attorney to use against them. However, people can take steps to protect themselves.

Simply deleting everything might be tempting but may be both ineffective and could give the impression of wrongdoing where none has occurred. However, some people do choose to shut down their social media accounts while they are going through a divorce. Others use them sparingly and avoid posting anything of a personal nature. In particular, people should avoid posting about new relationships or anything that gives the impression that they are spending money thoughtlessly.

People should change their passwords and security questions on accounts so their spouse cannot guess them. They may want to increase their privacy settings on social media and get a new email address. Other things to consider are turning off location tracking and removing shared apps and calendars since all of these may reveal more information than an individual going through divorce is comfortable sharing. Finally, people might want to discuss with an attorney what means of obtaining information is legal in their jurisdiction.

Unfortunately, if a divorce involves trying to gather evidence via the other person’s social media account, it may have already turned too contentious to avoid litigation. If a couple is unable to negotiate a divorce agreement and must go to litigation, they might want to discuss what they wish to prioritize with their respective attorneys. The process of litigation is more adversarial than negotiations outside of court.