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Is it Legal to Spy on My Spouse?

By: Alisse C. Camazine

Throughout history, unhappy husbands and wives have used all kinds of methods to find out what their spouses have been doing behind their backs. Today, as information has become an electronic commodity, the use of spyware, tracking devices, and cloning of phones has become far more common in divorce cases. Spouses frequently want to know whether their partner is having an affair, how they are spending money, or what no good things their spouse is up to.

A number of software programs allow people to access crucial information from computers and phones without the owner’s knowledge. Call logs, contacts, browser history, etc., can all be obtained surreptitiously with the right electronic assist. While this spyware may have been created to protect children and monitor employees, it is now being used to monitor spouses.

This kind of technology may seem like a good way to find out what your spouse is doing and if they are cheating on you. However, it may also be illegal, depending upon your situation. You would be wise to get legal advice before you begin using spyware to see what your spouse is doing.

Even setting legality aside, judges don’t always appreciate having this kind of surreptitiously obtained evidence presented in court. Sometimes, rather than finding a wandering spouse guilty of marital misconduct, the court may believe the activity that you carried out to spy is worse than the conduct you uncover.

The family law attorneys at Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal continually examine the constantly changing law surrounding the use of spyware and other forms of electronic espionage.


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