A breakdown in communication and lack of trust are two reasons that marriages often break down to a point that divorce is inevitable. Unfortunately, technology has made it easier for couples to erode each other’s trust and further damage the relationship. Several apps and software program make spying on your spouse easier than ever, but easy does not always equate to ethical or legal. Knowing why spying on your spouse could be a bad idea may help you avoid making a serious mistake that could cost you dearly.
Rarely Produces Closure
Some spouses decide to spy on their partners because they want answers to questions or suspicions. Spying on your spouse by physically tracking him or her, using spyware software, or secretly downloading apps onto his or her mobile device all have the potential to answer at least some of your questions. However, those answers often lead to more questions. Once you know your spouse is having in an affair, hiding money, or doing something else you suspected, you may then start wondering how long he or she has been engaging in that behavior. It is rare for spying to provide anyone the full answers they want or the closure they need.
Apps might be easy to install on your spouse’s phone, tablet, or computer, but that does not guarantee they are legal and safe to use. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) makes it illegal to intentionally access the private social media, email, or other transmissions of another party without authorization. Using spyware to intercept messages sent on your spouse’s computer or cell phone without consent could land you in serious trouble if your spouse wants to pursue criminal charges against you. Even if you think your spouse would never have you arrested, you could be surprised. There is no way of knowing what a person may do once he or she is confronted with proof of his or her infidelity.
May Harm Your Case
Instead of producing the smoking gun you expected would win your divorce case, spying could actually harm your chances of obtaining custody or a fair divorce settlement. When estranged wife of a television investigator placed a spy camera in her husband’s closet, the divorce took a turn for a worse. Suddenly, the wife who had publicly accused her husband of cheating was facing multiple charges and accusations. Thousands of men and women have harmed their cases by attempting to find proof of their spouse’s bad behavior that they believed would have made their divorce cases stronger.
Let Your Lawyer Decide
If you believe your spouse is engaging in illegal or unethical behavior, speak to your family law attorney about your options. Let your lawyer decide what is best, and if you have been considering using software or technology to spy on your spouse, tell your lawyer. Unless your lawyer approves of your plan, do not go through with it and never wait to tell your lawyer about your spying tactics until after you have already been caught. The lawyers at Vayman & Teitelbaum will work with you to determine the best way to prove illegal or unethical actions committed by your spouse. Contact us at 678-736-7700 to discuss your case and schedule an appointment at one of our Atlanta, Georgia offices.