No one ever expects to get divorced, but it happens all the time. In fact, statistics show that more than 50% of all marriages end in divorce. If you are going through a divorce in Maryland and have online accounts that are shared with your spouse, it is important to take steps to protect yourself and your assets. Here’s what you should know.
Dealing with online accounts
The first thing you need to understand is that you have the right to access all of your online accounts with your spouse during the divorce. They can’t just change the password and lock you out of your online accounts, and you can’t do that either. So, if you have joint online accounts, you need to figure out how best to divide them.
Who gets the passwords?
In Maryland, family law is clear that passwords are considered to be property. This means that they are subject to division during a divorce proceeding, just like any other asset. In most cases, the court will give the person who has control over the account custody of the password. This can include the spouse, parent, or guardian of the minor child. However, there are instances where the court may decide that it is in the best interest of both parties to share custody of a password or allow one party full control over an account.
Tips you could use
If you have an account that’s important to you, don’t make any rash decisions to close it or lock out your spouse; instead, get a court order to own it. In most cases, the court will allow you full ownership if you need it more than your ex or if they never use it all. Then immediately change the password to those accounts because you can never tell what will happen after your divorce.
If you don’t get the account you wanted, you can always create a new one. However, make sure to wipe out all your data from the previous accounts to prevent them from landing in the wrong hands.
Deciding on the custody of your accounts is something that you can settle outside the court with the help of your attorney. Just be sure to draft a legally binding document that shows your agreement.