Does Your Spouse Know You Are Filing for Divorce?
The decision to get a divorce can be one of the most stressful events in your life. Often times, people consult with an attorney multiple times before determining whether or not a divorce is right for them. Having your spouse find out that you have been speaking with a divorce attorney could ruin your chances of reconciliation or undermine your divorce planning strategy. Here are some ways you can keep your consultations confidential …
Home Computer: One of the most common ways a person discovers his or her spouse has been consulting with a divorce attorney is the home computer. As of 2016, nearly 90% of American households had a computer at home. While undoubtedly useful, this modern convenience can store data and information you might not want anyone else to see.
What to do: If you and your spouse share a home computer then all your online activity will be easily accessible to him or her. Having your own password-protected account is a good first step to maintaining your privacy (assuming your password is secure). When in doubt, it is best to use your personal cell phone to search for an attorney.
Email: If you and your spouse share a computer, communications with your attorney might not be as confidential as you think. Whether you use an email application such as Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail, emails stored in those programs can be accessed by anyone in your home by simply logging into your computer.
Additionally, most internet browsers, like Google Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer, may store your email login information. This could allow your spouse to see that you’ve made an appointment with an attorney or have already been to an attorney’s office.
What to do: Get a new email account! We recommend that all of our clients create a new, separate, email account strictly for email communication with our firm. It is free to create a Gmail, AOL, Outlook, or Yahoo! Mail account, and a separate email account provides you peace of mind with respect to the privacy and confidentiality of your communications.
Browsing History: In the same vein, internet browsers can store all kinds of information that you might not want your spouse to see. Simply searching the internet for “divorce attorney near me” or “Daytona Beach divorce attorney” will save those phrases in your recent search history indefinitely. Similarly, your web browser will save your browsing history when visiting a law firm’s website or browsing self-help divorce sites.
What to do: If possible, do not use a shared home computer to search for divorce information. Delete your search history and browsing history after visiting divorce-related websites.
Your Cell Phone: The majority of cell phones sold today contain a GPS chip that can track your exact location down to a couple of feet. While this technology is useful when it comes to getting directions to your favorite restaurant, a nosy spouse could be using your device in a much more nefarious manner.
According to recent reports, there are more than 100 million iPhone users in the United States. The Apple “Find My” iPhone app allows users to track the location of their Apple devices and family members’ devices that are linked to the same iCloud account.
What to do: Disable location settings on your iPhone or Android device if your spouse has your login information. Your safest bet is to change your account passwords to ensure you are not being monitored or tracked.
If you are seeking to hire or consult with a divorce attorney in Florida, make sure you choose an attorney that understands the importance of keeping your communications private and secure. Part of our strategy here at the Rice Law Firm is to ensure that our interactions with clients remain confidential and that our clients know how to keep their digital information safe.
To schedule a confidential consultation regarding your family law matter, give us a call at 386-257-1222.
Paul E. Rice III, Esq.
Posted: May 19, 2020
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