In the beginning stages of planning a divorce or custody case, things can be especially tricky. In addition to wanting to be respectful and tactful towards your partner, you want to plan strategically how you should move forward. You also want to stay safe. No matter what the particular circumstances of your case, you deserve to know – from the beginning – that the law firm you decide to work with takes your privacy and confidentiality seriously.
How does Hofheimer Family Law Protect my privacy and confidentiality?
From the early stages of the divorce-planning process, we encourage you to be smart about how you engage with us and request more information. That’s why, when you request a book, register to attend a seminar, join our VIP group on Facebook, schedule a consultation, register to attend an upcoming Girl’s Night Out event, or retain our firm to represent you, we encourage you to open up a spouse safe email.
What is a spouse safe email?
A spouse safe email is one to which your spouse does not have access. These days, there are so many ways to access email – whether you accidentally leave it open on a browser, open it up on a smartphone to which your partner has the password, or even whether he’s actively trying to hack into your accounts – it’s always a smart idea to open up a brand new email account, change the password on your phone, turn off location services, and keep in mind what – from a cybersecurity standpoint – will keep you (and the information you access) safest.
If you request a copy of a book from us, register to attend a seminar, or schedule a consultation, you’ll start to receive a series of emails. You may be invited to participate in an online e-course on divorce, custody, or military divorce. We’ll also use your email account to send you access to a downloadable PDF version of the book. All of these things will be information that you’d probably prefer not to be in your former partner’s hands.
From a security standpoint, gmail accounts are often considered to be the best. You can open a new account – using an email address and password that he would not guess – by clicking here. Before you sign up to receive information from us, we recommend that you take this step – and then, of course, remember to check it! Don’t store your password, either. Memorize it.
In this way, regardless of the steps you take from this point forward, you’ll have a secure repository to store the information you’ll want to begin gathering, so you can make sure that you take the most strategically advantageous steps for yourself moving forward.
I’d like a hard copy of the book. Where can I get one? How will you keep me safe if I request a physical copy?
We all learn things a little bit differently. If you want a hard copy of our book – a lot of women do! – make sure to provide your address when you fill in the form. Whatever you choose – digital or hard copy, you’ll get the digital download version of the book immediately.
If you want the hard copy, we’ll send you a form in another email to complete, and then we’ll ship the book out to you. Rest assured: the book comes in a nondescript package, so there’s no way that your husband, your mailman, or your nosy neighbor who sometimes picks up your mail will know what’s inside.
Still worried? Ship it somewhere else. Ship it to work – again, nondescript packaging, so your boss and coworkers won’t know. Ship it to a friend or family member. Ship it to a neighbor. Ship it to a PO Box. We don’t really care; we’ll send it where you tell us! And then, of course, you should keep it somewhere that your husband won’t accidentally find it. Sometimes, the trunk of the car is a safe place. In other cases, it might be wise to keep it at someone else’s house. Whatever you decide, make sure you think it through so that you can keep it out of your husband’s hands.
My husband isn’t a bad guy. Is it really that serious?
In some cases, it might not be that serious. But, regardless of the specific facts of YOUR case, we have to tread carefully in every case. For many women, the time period during which they decide to separate and/or divorce is a very dangerous time. Even if yours isn’t a case where there has been physical, mental, or emotional abuse, you may still prefer to keep your cards closer to your chest for the time being.
Regardless, whether you discuss with your husband, attend marriage counseling, work it out, separate, or something in between, the decision is entirely yours, and you shouldn’t have to share information with anyone before you’re ready. As far as we’re concerned, it goes into the vault.
You guys are having open, candid, transparent conversations? Then share away. But he won’t hear about it from us!
How do you protect my privacy once I hire the firm?
We take client confidentiality very seriously. We protect confidences our clients choose to share with us, always. This can come up in all sorts of ways – from not telling your ex (or his attorney) that we’ve filed until we get him served at a time of our choosing, to not sharing drafts of agreements or pleadings with the other side unless and until you’ve approved of the document(s) first, and protecting any information that you share with us – but you can also help make it as easy on everyone as possible.
A spouse safe email helps in this respect, too. In many cases, we discuss things that you would not want to share with your husband or his attorney, so you definitely don’t want him hacking into your email. You’ll want to use (and check) an email account that he does not have access to. You’ll also want to be careful about who you’re confiding in, because anyone with whom you share too many details of your case may choose to share that information at any point. No one but your attorney is bound by confidentiality!
In a family law case, we discuss a number of sensitive topics, including the state of your marriage, your finances, your sex life, parenting and childrearing, and more. It can be difficult to be open and honest with anyone about details so central to our lives, so its crucial that you hire an attorney who you trust, only invite people to participate who you trust, and make sure that you protect your own security by not storing passwords or allowing apps to remain logged in across shared devices, be aware of where you’re having private conversations, and using your new, secure email account.
It’s a sensitive time. We take your confidentiality and privacy seriously, and we want you to know that, however you choose to engage with our firm, whether you download a book, attend a seminar, schedule a consultation, attend an event, our hire one of our attorneys to represent you, we’re doing everything we can to make sure that you’re protected.
Questions? Ask us! You can email firstname.lastname@example.org regarding any security or privacy concerns you have and we’ll be happy to answer.