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Spying on Your Spouse During Divorce: Be Careful!

Texas is one of the states which still allows for fault-based divorce. And one of the most popular fault grounds is adultery. The sad fact is that cheating leads to many divorces each year, and some people are tempted to spy on their spouse to gather evidence. However, as seasoned family law attorneys in League City and Galveston, we highly recommend that you leave evidence collection to your legal team.

Many of the most popular spying techniques are actually illegal. Some people wrongly think they can hack into any computer in their house or tear open their spouse’s mail. There’s no reason to pick up a criminal charge as you work through your divorce. Call Tad Nelson and Associates today to speak with a member of our legal team.

Why Spouses Spy in a Divorce

In Texas, most snooping is done to find evidence of adultery, which can impact your Texas divorce dramatically. If your spouse cheated, then this fact could impact:

  • Marital property: you might receive more marital property if you can establish your spouse’s adultery led to the demise of your marriage. We have seen some people get 55/45 splits when a spouse cheated.
  • Spousal support and maintenance: a judge can consider adultery when deciding whether your spouse should financially support you after divorce.
  • Child custody: your spouse’s adultery could negatively impact their relationship with their child. For example, the new paramour could have a criminal history, which is a threat to your child’s safety.

Common spying techniques can include trying to hack into their computer or email, reading text messages, opening credit card statements and other pieces of mail, or even recording their spouse.

Why You Should Be Careful

Evidence of adultery is helpful. Still, you need to be careful. A lot of snooping is criminal, and the police could arrest you. For example, you can’t open someone’s mail unless it is addressed to you. You also can’t access someone’s cell phone or email without their permission. These are all crimes which could land you in jail.

Also, Texas has a complicated law related to recording someone without their permission. You can’t intercept anyone’s communication without the permission of at least one party. If you were a party to the phone call, then you can give permission and record it, but that’s rare.

Many people want to record their spouse having a phone conversation with their romantic partner. Unless they are having a conversation in public—such as shouting at each other—you can’t record it without violating the law.

How to Properly Gather Evidence of Adultery

If you can’t tear open your husband’s credit card statement, what can you do? Is there any way to prove adultery? Here are some general rules:

  • You can use anything that was given to you. If your husband opened his credit card statement and puts it where you can see it—say, with all the other monthly bills—you can look at the statement. You can also avoid throwing it away once you pay the bills.
  • You can use any message on an account you co-own. Some spouses have joint Facebook accounts. If you have access to this account, you can read a direct message sent to your spouse.
  • You can install a tracking device on a vehicle that you jointly own.
  • You can testify about anything you saw, and friends can also testify about what they saw.
  • You can record anyone in public. There is no expectation of privacy when someone is walking around in public.

As your Galveston divorce lawyer, we also have techniques for obtaining helpful evidence. For example, in a divorce, we can request documents during discovery, like cell phone records or credit card statements. This evidence might show countless calls to a suspected lover, or expensive trips out of town, complete with the purchase of jewelry or flowers. If your spouse doesn’t turn them over, we can seek sanctions.

We might also hire a private investigator. This person knows how to gather evidence legally. For example, they might follow your spouse around and photograph them in public. That’s legal. They might catch your husband walking into a hotel, hand in hand, with a girlfriend. That evidence is powerful proof of adultery.

Suspicious of Adultery? Contact Us Today!

Our legal team will discuss whether suspected adultery will impact your divorce. We can also help you stay on the right side of the law as you seek evidence to confirm your suspicions. Call Tad Nelson & Associates today to speak with our legal team in a consultation.