Spying On Each Other To Get A Leg Up Is A Game You’re Likely To Lose

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Spying On Each Other To Get A Leg Up Is A Game You’re Likely To Lose

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If you’re at a place where you’re thinking about filing for divorce or you have filed and are still in the divorce process, many people feel the urge to find some way to get a leg up on your soon-to-be-ex.  This usually happens when your husband says that he wants custody or that he’s taking most, if not all, of what you both accumulated in assets during your marriage.

You may have a lot of fear about your life after divorce because you didn’t work outside the home, or if you did, it was sporadic or the jobs you think you qualify for now don’t pay enough for you to live on.

Whatever you feel is your greatest fears are about the worst outcome from you divorce, it is from this place of fear that you start to think about what you can do to tip the scales in your favor.  You call up your friends to ask for advice on how to catch him “red handed” or how you can dig up something on him.  You lie awake at night with your mind racing, trying to grasp onto anything you can think of to “get him” and usually the first thing that pops into your mind is to dig into his email account or search his “internet history” to see where he’s been or who he’s been talking to.

The second thing that usually comes to mind is to take his mail from the mailbox and open it.

This is always a bad idea.

When you operate out of a place of fear and desperation, you are almost always likely to make the wrong decision that may have consequences that will further complicate your situation and make it worse.  How can that be?  Here are some things I have seen or heard about happening to people who have gone down this path:

  1. You open yourself up to possible criminal charges.  It very well could be a crime in the state you live in to break into your husband’s email account that is password protected.  Even if your husband previously gave you his password and he hasn’t changed it since then, if you’re at a place where things are bad between the two of you and you are thinking of filing or have filed for divorce, you could possibly be committing a crime.  The same is true if you put a listening device on your home phone or his cell phone.  It may be considered wire taping.  Always talk to a lawyer in your area before you even make one move to do anything like this.
  2. You can be sanctioned by the court.  It could possibly cost you a lot of money to make a mistake like this.  For example,  in Texas, a person can be sanctioned $1,000.00 for every time they went into their husband’s email account.  I have personally seen this happen to someone.  It cost him a lot of money in sanctions when he broke into his ex-wife’s email account.  The judge came down on him and he was sanctioned $1,000.00 for every time he accessed her account.  Don’t let this be you.  If you think that this might be you, talk to an attorney where you live as soon as possible.
  3. Doing it to him can encourage him to do it to you. When you’ve been spying on your husband, sometimes you can leave a trail behind you and not realize it.  Depending on what service you have your account with, your husband might be able to tell the last time his account was accessed. And if he knows he didn’t access it then, this will give him a clue that his account has been hacked by you.  You might have information on your computer that He might find about you without him breaking into your computer or email account that is damaging to your case.

Either way, operating out of a place of fear and anxiety is rarely a winning legal strategy.  It’s most often a way you get into trouble you wouldn’t have had in the first place, that weakens your case or puts you at risk of possibly facing criminal charges.  The ripple effect can be deep and lasting.  It could effect who gets custody of your kids (if you’re now facing criminal charges) and how your assets and debts are divided.

There are ways you can legally get information about your husband’s bank accounts, email account, internet history, memberships and profiles he has on various websites, etc., called “discovery” or usually something similar to that where you live.  It is the process where you ask for and exchange information with your husband about his activities and finances and other things you want to know.  Ask an attorney about it during your initial consultation.

Always take the high road.  That may be hard when you’re not optimistic about how you’re going to make it financially after your divorce, but having trust in the process is so much better than going low and sinking down to using tactics that are outside of your normal character and nature.



Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice.  It is not a substitute for legal advice. If you need legal advice, please find an attorney in your area.


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