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Can My Spouse Use Our Private Texts and Voicemails as Evidence in a Divorce?

 Posted on October 06, 2022 in Divorce

DuPage County Divorce LawyerSpouses getting divorced in Illinois have often dealt with marital conflict for many years. Such conflict rarely occurs only in person; there are often reams of texts, voicemails, emails, and other recorded or written evidence documenting spousal conflict. Rarely are any of us at our best during moments of heated conflict and we often say things we do not mean or later regret. Nevertheless, if a spouse has said questionable things that are documented in writing or in a recording, they may be used against him or her in divorce court. It is important to understand when voicemails, texts, and emails can be used as evidence–and just as important to understand when someone can “gather” evidence by recording their spouse. 

Are Texts and Emails Admissible as Evidence in Illinois Divorce Court? 

Generally speaking, anything your spouse has free access to can be used as evidence in court. This includes emails, texts, and voice recordings that you voluntarily sent. While adultery cannot be used as fault-based grounds for divorce, other behavior documented in texts or emails can be used against you. This includes threats, abusive language, discussions about the kids, and more. However, there are situations in which it may be possible to question the authenticity of a message. For example, if you went to lunch with your spouse to discuss the divorce, left your phone on the table while you went to the bathroom, and your spouse sent herself threatening texts from your phone. 

Your spouse cannot illegally access your information by hacking into your computer, social media accounts, or other private records. This may be considered an “intrusion upon seclusion,” even if a private investigator is the one who does it. It is important to talk to your attorney to find out whether your spouse has violated any privacy laws. 

Can My Spouse Secretly Record Me? 

Illinois is an all-party consent state, which means that everybody on a call or in a video recording needs to know they are being recorded for the recording to be legal. The only exceptions to this are when you are in public and nobody has a right to the expectation of privacy–but even then, things can be complicated. 

Certainly, if you are on the phone with your spouse or alone together in your home, you have a reasonable expectation of privacy and they cannot surreptitiously record you without your consent. If they do, such recordings are likely to be inadmissible as evidence in divorce court. Furthermore, recording phone conversations illegally can be a felony crime that has serious consequences. If you believe your ex is illegally recording you, do not retaliate in kind and bring your concerns to your attorney right away. 

Schedule a Comprehensive Consultation a Wheaton, IL Divorce Lawyer

When it comes to bringing evidence in a court of law, it is essential to ensure that each party only uses evidence that was legally obtained. For help combatting inappropriate evidence and collecting the evidence you need yourself, schedule a consultation with a high-power team of assertive DuPage County divorce attorneys with The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C.. We will work to ensure your divorce moves as cooperatively as possible, but we are willing to get assertive to defend your rights if necessary. Call 630-462-9500 today. 




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