Divorce is about change and moving from the marriage that dominated your life to a new chapter. You and your spouse were connected in many ways. Whether you are in the process of divorcing or it is already behind you, you must take steps to be more independent. This is especially true if you have a difficult spouse who may use information against you.
Should you have keys to each other’s homes?
Probably not. There are the occasional, genuinely friendly divorces, and you may want your ex to have a key to your home in case of an emergency (or you lose your keys). However, this is generally not a good idea because it creates the possibility of dangerous situations and stalking by someone with whom, in the past, you shared a deep connection. Even someone who seems to have taken the divorce well may harbor serious grudges that could play out in what you think is the security and privacy of your own home.
Should I allow my ex in my home?
If you are both parents and want to, at the very least, maintain the appearance of civility, you could allow the other parent to come in momentarily to pick up your kids. If the relationship has broken down, that can be done outside or at a neutral site.
If you do not want them in your home, clearly communicate that. If they drop by just to annoy (or worse, threaten) you, document what is happening. You could also install security cameras because a picture is worth a thousand words. We could have a protective order put in place if needed. If they are threatening or stalking you, get the police involved.
Should I change my passwords?
Yes, especially if the app or website concerns financial matters. Creating a new email address may also be a good idea. If they know the email address you use, unless there is a two-step identification process, they may be able to change your password and lock you out of the account.
Not only might your spouse access social media accounts and post embarrassing or spiteful content, they could also steal your money. You could lose your job if your ex, using your accounts, posts racist ramblings on LinkedIn or sends a resignation email to your boss. It is a mess you would rather prevent than try to clean up afterward.
Should I get a new job?
Many of us meet future spouses at work. We may marry business partners. This may have worked for a time, but keeping your professional and business lives separate during or after a divorce may be too much to ask.
If you co-own a business, there should be an ownership agreement spelling out how one party can sell their interest to fellow owners or others. Leaving a job you love or one with a lot of potential may be necessary if it is impacting your performance.
Should you or your ex leave? That is a discussion worth having. Your ex may be more willing and able to go than you, or this may become another test of will to see who can outlast the other (which could get very ugly).
How many connections should I break?
You may have any number of things in common. You may volunteer for the same charity, belong to the same religious organization, or like the same neighborhood restaurant. How far you need to go to move on in your life depends on you. Not everyone needs to reinvent their life, but you should make necessary changes to move on after a divorce.
Contact Karen Ann Ulmer, PC, today if you are considering getting divorced and have questions or have decided it is right for you and need legal representation. If your ex is threatening or stalking you, we can also help you put that to an end.