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Divorcing Illinois couples: Split up your electronic connections

When we're married, we seem to share everything. We share checking accounts. We share cars. We share kids. We share computers and iPads.

Which one of those things is not like the other?

When we divorce, we close joint checking accounts and open two individual ones. Our cars are designated "yours" and "mine." We work out custody agreements in the best interests of our children.

Those are the obvious things for Illinois residents to split up. Less obvious, despite it being the easiest to do, is to separate our electronic lives.

For couples who are divorcing, it is crucial to bolster their online security. Sensitive information can be accessed by your spouse if you share passwords, link email accounts or have your iPhone synched to your iPad – an iPad that your spouse still has access to through your kids, perhaps – or an iCloud account.

Our electronic devices hold information we might not want our ex-spouse to know about. We probably don't want our soon-to-be exes to have information about upcoming appointments with attorneys. Or consider, for instance, cases of domestic violence. One spouse might not want the other to learn their new address, but it could be seen easily through electronic devices.

Once filing for divorce is imminent, it is important for a spouse to change email passwords first, then passwords to other accounts. That's because some accounts require confirmation emails to be sent, and you don't want your spouse to get to those emails first and set new passwords and such.

When you reset those passwords, change the security questions.

Divorce is tough all around but following this guidance can make things just a bit easier. An Illinois attorney well-versed in divorce can offer other tips on what you should do as soon as you decide to divorce.

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