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Spying on a Spouse During a Divorce

Divorce word in a dictionary
If you are going through a divorce, it is only natural that you are curious what your spouse is doing. Jealousy, fear, and insecurity are still present even during a divorce. In some cases, you might be concerned your spouse is going to take assets or do something that influences your children. As a result, you may be tempted to spy on your spouse before or during the divorce proceedings.

The truth is that even a spouse has a right to privacy. Often in court, one spouse will bring in cyber evidence. But what crosses the line? What is legal? This article will explore the different things that could happen in court based on spying and snooping.

Why Do People Spy on Spouses?

A spouse may feel as if he or she needs to snoop on a spouse in order to gain evidence for a divorce case. A spouse might look for evidence of expenses, vacations, changes in income, or even pictures of drug use. However, infringing on your spouse’s privacy is often illegal.

Some people might spy on a spouse simply because it is so easy to do so. Smartphone spyware and computer spyware are easy enough to find and use. It takes just a few seconds to install software and track everything another person has typed or researched on the web.

Sometimes, a spouse might be hiding information about finances during a divorce. For example, the spouse might choose to hide assets in the hopes that it will prevent the other spouse from receiving them as part of the divorce judgment. Evidence of hidden assets can certainly change the course of a divorce case.

What Are the Dangers of Spying?

Spying on a spouse may provide helpful information, but it is also dangerous. If you break the law, you could be charged with a crime, sued in civil court, or be ruled against as part of the divorce case. If the judge has questions about how you learned specific pieces of information, you may be put in the hot seat.

Some of the dangers are actually placed on the spouse being spied on, especially if the snooping spouse is able to find information that paints the other in a bad light. The judge may have questions about anything from photos on social media to text messages to your children.

If your spouse spies on you, you may be at risk. One such risk is photos being used out of context. This is more common in cases involving child custody when an ex-spouse wants to prove that the other is not a fit parent.

What Are the Laws About Spying?

Some types of spying on a spouse are illegal in any state. For instance, hacking password-protected accounts is not acceptable. Arkansas has laws that recognize a tort for invasion of privacy, which puts liability on a former spouse if it harms the interests of the individual being spied on.

Videotaping or using a camera to secretly observe or film another person without their knowledge or consent is not legal when they are in a private space with a reasonable expectation of privacy.

The laws pertaining to spying and snooping are not entirely clear. Is it legal to use a spouse's passcode to look through text messages and bank accounts? Is it legal to look through a spouse's photos stored on their computer? These are questions you need to discuss with your attorney.

If you have questions about spying or how to legally obtain information, speak with your family law attorney. The Madden Law Firm provides you with helpful information about divorce and snooping laws.

    The Madden Law Firm
    515 Rock St.
    Little Rock, AR 72202

    Phone: 501-378-7700
    Toll Free: 800-535-0001
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    (by appointment only)
    1027 Front St., Ste. 2
    Conway, AR 72032

    Phone: 501-764-4600
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    118 Second St., Suite M
    Hot Springs, AR 71901

    Phone: 501-623-6500
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    (by appointment only)
    Mid Continent Building, Suite 304
    West Memphis, AR 72301

    Phone: 870-733-1300
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    415 W Sixth Ave.
    Pine Bluff, AR 71601

    Phone: 870-247-4200

    Disclaimer: This is a debt relief agency.