Going through a divorce is stressful enough without the added frustration of wading through the tech-centric headaches that come with it.
When you’re dealing with the rigorous process, it can be difficult to manage things like shared passwords, co-parenting needs, or even the shared gadgets you utilize in your home.
If you’re about to embark on what can be an especially arduous journey, we’ve put together some of the most urgent, timely changes you should seek to make during any divorce, breakup, or separation.
Change your passwords
It’s highly likely that your ex knows just about all of the important passwords you use on a daily basis. Perhaps you share an online banking account, use one Netflix account, or even share a Reddit username.
As soon as divorce enters the picture and you decide it’s time to go along with it, you should change any and all passwords to the accounts you plan on keeping solo.
This will mitigate any potential damage your ex could do in the future, by way of a meddling new boyfriend or girlfriend, irrational behavior, or curiosity that comes on after the break-up.
Make a list of all the passwords you could possibly have shared and create new ones for each one. Use a service like the Strong Random Password Generator to create secure passwords, and then LastPass to organize them all. This way, you’ll feel better knowing you’re keeping your lives separate from here on out – at least, in the digital world.
Wipe any of the gadgets you share clean
It can be easy to slip into a routine when you share technology. Say you and your partner keep a shared tablet in the living room for when you want to look something up while watching a movie or log in to pay bills. It likely has all of your passwords saved, an extensive history of all your browsing and even images on it you may not want to keep.
Before you decide who gets to keep your shared devices, back up what you want and then factory reset it. Go ahead and wipe it completely clean so that it starts out as fresh it was when it came home from the factory.
Follow the same steps with any computers, phones, or other electronic items with the capability of saving data like banking info, your tax returns, instant messages, or anything you don’t want the other person taking with them. Make sure you have what you need, and then nuke it all.
Get the coParenter app to help facilitate visitation for the kids
If you have children, you may end up splitting custody. It can be difficult to figure out how to organize meetings, schedule time, or keep track of upcoming mandated visitations. Enter coParenter, an app meant to help take the guesswork out of separation when it comes to the little ones.
The app is available to download via the App Store and on Google Play for both iOS and Android users. It collects data while you use it, including communication between you and your ex-partner, location information of both users and other important data points. It does that so that information can be used in court should things become heated when discussing whose turn it is to get the kids.
CoParenter features a 30-day trial period with a $12.99 monthly fee or $119.99 yearly plan. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind when it comes to keeping things straight between you and your ex.
Plus, it can even help you filter out less hostile language between the two of you if things get testy. Better communication, after all, is good for everyone.
Clean up your social media
Perhaps you and your ex shared a Facebook account where you kept mutual friends, photos, or conversations. Maybe you went on Twitter and posted fun status updates in brighter times. It’s time to go ahead and close down those accounts, and create your own private profile, even if you’re staying friends with your ex-significant other.
Then, once you’ve locked down the old accounts, you can consider making a new, private profile for you.
If you decide to create a new profile and you don’t want to potentially invite drama or your ex into your life for a file, make sure all your privacy settings are up to date and think about taking your entire profile private for a while.
If you had a private account already, go through and do some pruning to make sure everything is squeaky clean. Delete any potentially problematic posts you may have made in the past and start fresh. You don’t want anything you may have slung up during a vacation when you’d had too many drinks to come haunt you later.
Take these practical steps to make that split as smooth as possible, and good luck!