Be clever here. You are now separated, and you are not only entitled to your privacy, but you need to claim it. It is very important that you have healthy boundaries with your ex-partner. You may think he or she would not betray your confidence, but they do, believe me — we have had many stories about exes who snoop!
We once had a client who had access to their ex-partner’s email. They were logging in and looking at all the emails between them and their solicitor, knowing every move and all the legal advice that their ex was receiving. This is awful behaviour and only leads to difficulties. It is not helpful to know what advice they are receiving, and evidence that anyone discovers via such snooping is not able to be used in Court anyway.
Another poor client was on the receiving end of the snooping. She had forgotten to change her iCloud password, and her ex-partner had gone into her account and changed the settings to family sharing so that he could see all. She had moved on to a new relationship, and everything she was doing and all the pictures she was sharing were accessible on her ex-husband’s device. When she found out, she was mortified, as you would be. It led not only to her embarrassment but also to further difficulties in resolving her matter.
It’s important that you change all of your passwords including your bank PINs, internet banking and telephone banking passcodes, email passwords, and social media passwords, and that you have strict privacy settings in place to prevent snooping. Other important passwords to change are those for devices, iCloud, Dropbox or other online storage caches, online subscriptions and family sharing, any shopping sites with saved credit card numbers, and possibly most importantly, myGov and all its linked portals. Your identity is very hard to recover once compromised.
So often we have clients who do not do this, even though we direct them to because they believe their ex-partner doesn’t know their passwords and it seems like such a hassle. Honestly, you just don’t know for sure, and though it will obviously take a few hours, it will be worth every minute to know that your information, identity, finances, and communications are secure. So many times, we have clients in with information they should not know about their ex-partner, such as correspondence between them and their lawyer. People can be sneaky; your ex-partner now has different objectives from before. So please change all of your passwords.
That leads us to talk briefly to you about any snooping you might be tempted to partake in. It is not clever to snoop. No, no, no! It will not give you the upper hand and could land you in hot water. Do not log into accounts that are not yours, as it will not advance your case. If you obtain documents by fraudulent means, the evidence cannot be used to support your case at all.
Your snooping may end up needing to be disclosed, which is embarrassing. Also, a lot of what you will find will simply make you anxious, without being helpful.