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Can You Spy on Your Spouse During a Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

spy on your spouse, McHenry County Family Law LawyerWhen you feel that your marriage is over, you may be tempted to spy on your spouse. However, spying can be legally risky and may not even benefit you in the divorce. Therefore, it is important to know what the law says about spying on your spouse.

What Are You Hoping to Prove?

The most common reason for spying on a spouse is to uncover proof of his or her cheating. However, now that Illinois is a no-fault divorce state, whether your spouse is cheating or not will not affect allocation of parental rights, visitation, child support, spousal maintenance, or the division of property.

If your spouse is spending marital assets on someone with whom he or she is cheating, you should try and uncover how much is being spent. The same is true if your spouse is spending money on drugs or gambling. These actions may be considered dissipation of marital assets—your spouse is wasting marital assets on things that do not benefit the marriage, nor have you agreed to this spending. It is possible to get some or all of these funds back in a divorce.

Keeping Within the Law

You are permitted to access any accounts that are both yours and your spouse’s. However, it is illegal for you to secretly record phone calls or hack into your spouse’s social media or email accounts. A judge in a divorce may exclude evidence collected in this way and you could be criminally charged for your actions.

If your spouse has previously given you a password to an account, the law is unclear if it is legal for you to use it to spy on your spouse. If you believe your spouse is continuing to spend money inappropriately, your best move may be to file for divorce and seek a financial restraining order. This is a court order that limits what the money belonging to both sides can be spent on. Once you file for divorce you can also begin legal detective work by seeking financial records and documents through the discovery process.

If you are considering filing for divorce, or you believe your spouse may be filing for a divorce, you need to speak with a dedicated McHenry County family law lawyer. To arrange a consultation, call The Thomas Law Office today at 847-426-7990 to schedule a consultation.