Protection of personal data and finances in divorce

Dealing with a divorce may be stressful and difficult, but it is important for California residents facing the process to take a careful approach to financial details and personal information during such proceedings. According to studies, only about 30 percent of individuals who end their marriages through divorce ask ex-spouses to delete sensitive or personal data such as intimate photos, passwords and other electronic content. Around the same amount of individuals in relationships reportedly admit to perusing social media details related to a partner's ex-spouse.

Protecting one's credit score may require some inconvenient but important measures. All joint accounts should be closed to eliminate potential for use after a divorce. It is important to check credit reports from all major credit bureaus before, after and during divorce proceedings. It is also important to change passwords on electronic assets and accounts, including social media and bank accounts. It is wise to avoid making negative comments in a public setting such as a social media website due to the potential for such information to be used in a court situation.

There are several approaches to divorce that may keep fees down. In several of these instances, lawyers may prove helpful in guiding the process so that nothing important is forgotten. A collaborative divorce, for example, allows details to be worked out in a conference setting rather than before a judge. Mediation and arbitration both involve third parties who work through more difficult issues.

Retention of a lawyer may be important for ensuring that one's interests are protected during the settlement process. Alternatives to court may prove helpful in keeping the details private and reducing the amount of time needed to finalize a settlement.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorcing? Protect Your Finances, Personal Data", Jason Alderman, July 23, 2014

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