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Spying on a spouse – just don’t do it

On Behalf of | Oct 17, 2018 | Divorce |

A spouse may act mysteriously sometimes, perhaps indicating that a marriage is heading toward trouble. In recognizing this odd behavior, some may feel the need to check on the other spouse to see what they are doing. And in the information age, this is now easier to do than ever. With a few keystrokes, a spouse could conceivably open a laptop, go through emails or check browsing history.

Avoid this temptation

It is natural to want to find out more about a spouse’s unusual or secretive behavior. Perhaps they are hiding an addiction, having an affair, or harboring some other secret. You may be convinced that there is something wrong and you simply want to document it, in the hope of leveraging information for a better settlement if the marriage is already heading for divorce. There may even be a feeling of vindication if you find something. However, this mindset can lead to real trouble for the amateur sleuth.

Spying and stalking are illegal

Using technology to spy on a spouse is illegal under the Federal Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act, which prevents individuals from gathering information by indirect or unauthorized means. Illegal acts include:

  • Hacking into an email account or computer
  • Recording conversations without the other person’s knowledge
  • Using a nanny-cam without their knowledge
  • Following someone or using a GPS device to track them
  • Installing spyware on a computer or device without their knowledge
  • Opening personal mail without permission
  • Unauthorized access to digital assistants, home security and smart home technology
  • Unauthorized entry into a home or business

Judges do not appreciate your spying

Engaging in illegal activity will likely reflect badly on the individual, and it can lead to federal and state felony charges and jail here in Texas. In either case, it can cause judges to question a parent’s judgment and/or fitness for custody. Many relationship experts also believe that engaging this type of behavior slows down the healing process.

The best revenge during the divorce process is taking positive steps to move forward with your life. An important part of this is seeking legal advice from an experienced Board-Certified Texas Family Law Expert attorney, who could provide knowledgeable guidance within the boundaries of the law that ensures that your individual and parental rights are protected.