When angry, jilted spouses want to collect evidence against their ex during a divorce, they can cross the line between building a case and breaking the law.
For instance, following up on suspicions can cross the line into stalking and other criminal offenses when people spy on their ex.
Tactics to avoid
If you break the law or violate someone’s rights to pursue evidence, you could face costly consequences, from financial penalties in family court to criminal charges.
As such, it is generally wise to avoid:
- Hacking into a person’s email or social media accounts
- Stealing their phones, tablets or computers to get access to sensitive data or images
- Installing a hidden camera or listening device in their home
- Putting a GPS tracking device on their car
- Having your child carry a recording device with them when they spend time with the other parent
These efforts may or may not always warrant criminal charges, but they could still get you into some serious legal hot water. And often, the reward is simply not worth the risk.
That said, there are lawful, legitimate means of building a case against someone you feel is dishonest or dangerous.
- Discuss your options with an attorney. These parties have been through this process countless times; they understand the laws stating what parties can and can’t do in terms of surveillance and can explain appropriate ways to collect relevant information.
- Consult professionals. If you suspect your ex is concealing assets or an unfit parent, a professional opinion and investigation will typically gather stronger evidence than what you might collect yourself. Forensic accountants, child psychologists and custody specialists can root out lies and present findings to the court.
- Look for what is already available. You may already have information that can be helpful during your divorce. Things like criminal complaints, text messages, social media data and financial transactions can paint a vivid picture of any wrongdoing, and it does not require surveillance to collect it.
These strategies can help you collect valuable information, and you do not need to break the law to get it.
Spying on your ex during a contentious divorce can be tempting. However, you could wind up hurting your case and tarnishing your reputation if you break the law to do it.