With the increasing reliance on digital technology, it has become crucial to address the protection of digital assets during divorce proceedings. In a culture where a significant percentage of our social and business interactions are conducted publicly via social media, email, and other online communication platforms, safeguarding these assets becomes of great importance.
What steps can individuals take to protect their digital assets during a divorce?
Understanding the legal landscape: Louisiana operates under a community property regime, meaning that assets acquired during the marriage are typically considered joint property However, digital assets, such as social media accounts, email communications and online accounts, pose unique challenges when it comes to classification and division.
Since specific laws concerning digital assets in divorce proceedings may vary, you should consult with an experienced New Orleans family law attorney who can provide guidance tailored to your individual circumstances. They can help you understand how the court typically handles digital assets and devise a strategy to protect what is rightfully yours.
Managing social media accounts: Offering a platform to share personal information, photos and experiences is one of the major allures of social media, but this information is often used against individuals during divorce proceedings. Throughout a divorce, it is important to manage your social media accounts cautiously to prevent the potentially damaging consequences that can come when posts and comments are taken out of context in a court of law. Here are a few tips that you should consider throughout as you enter into this difficult time:
- Review Privacy Settings: Take the time to review and update the privacy settings on your social media accounts. Limit the visibility of posts, photos and personal information to ensure only trusted individuals can access them.
- Think Before You Post: Avoid posting negative or inflammatory content about your spouse. Even though you have already adjusted your privacy settings does not mean that your profile is locked tight. Mutual acquaintances of you and your spouse may inform them of your post, which can then be used against you in court.
- Preserve Evidence: If you believe that your spouse’s social media activity may be relevant to your divorce proceedings, take screenshots or save relevant posts as evidence. Ensure you are in compliance with New Orleans legal guidelines and restrictions regarding the collection of evidence by speaking with your trusted family lawyer.
Securing email communications: When you reach out to the skilled New Orleans family lawyers at The Law Office of James A. Graham, we ask for email addresses as a primary form of communication. Knowing that legal discussions are commonly held over email threads indicates how sensitive the information held within your email account can be. If the wrong person gains access to your email, even the smallest comment you make about your spouse can harm you in court. Here are some measures to secure your email communications during a divorce:
- Change Passwords: Start simple by changing the passwords for all your email accounts. Ensure you use strong, unique passwords that are not easily guessable.
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication: Activate two-factor authentication on your email accounts to provide an extra layer of security. This requires a verification code, typically sent to your mobile device, in addition to the password for account access. When two-factor authentication is in effect, you will receive updates on where attempts at account access are coming from.
- Be Cautious with Communication: Exercise caution when communicating via email during a divorce. Avoid discussing sensitive matters related to the divorce or your spouse in email exchanges. Instead, rely on secure channels of communication to ensure your conversations are kept private.
Protecting online financial accounts: During a divorce, it is crucial to safeguard your assets and financial well-being. Here are some essential steps to take to keep your financial accounts secure:
- Update Contact Information: Ensure that your contact information, such as email address, phone number, and mailing address, associated with your online financial accounts is accurate and up to date. This step helps prevent any unauthorized changes or notifications being sent to your spouse’s contact information. Contact your financial institutions directly to make any necessary updates.
- Change Passwords and Strengthen Security: Change password and enable two-factor authentication.
- Monitor Account Activity: Regularly monitor your online financial accounts for any suspicious or unauthorized activity. Review transaction history, account balances, and statements to ensure there are no unauthorized transactions or changes. If you notice any irregularities, report them immediately to your financial institution and document the details for your divorce proceedings.
- Close Joint Accounts or Change Account Ownership: If you have joint online financial accounts with your spouse, consider closing those accounts or changing the account ownership to remove their access. Consult with your attorney to understand the legal implications and ensure a fair division of assets.
- Seek Legal Advice: Consult with a family law attorney who specializes in divorce and financial matters. They can guide you through the process of protecting your online financial accounts, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and advocating for your financial interests during the divorce proceedings.
If you are going through a divorce do not take your digital footprint lightly. Be cautious of what you put online and be proactive by hiring the experienced New Orleans family law attorneys at The Law Offices of James A. Graham. Our team of professionals will guide you through the many complexities of your divorce including reducing your digital footprint and securing your online accounts. We are proud to advocate for justice in cases all across South Louisiana. Call or contact us today at our New Orleans office for your consultation.