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Should I Use Spy Tactics During My Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce lawyer

Even under the most amicable circumstances, divorce signifies the end of a relationship, and that can be difficult for both parties. Unfortunately, divorce can also bring out the worst in people, especially if one or both parties feel wronged or slighted. To obtain the best results in your divorce, it is important to hire a reputable divorce lawyer to guide you through the legal process.

It is natural to want to do independent work apart from your lawyer to strengthen your case. Especially if your case involves infidelity or financial mismanagement, you may be thinking of using certain spy tactics to obtain hard evidence to use in court. However, this type of spying can be tricky, because some of these tactics are illegal, and evidence that was obtained illegally cannot be used in court. When attempting to uncover information during your divorce, you should speak with an attorney to find out which options are legal to use during your divorce proceedings.

Infidelity, Spyware, and Eavesdropping

It is illegal in any state to install spyware on your spouse’s computer or phone without his or her knowledge. In some cases, people may wish to use spyware or other methods of eavesdropping when they suspect their spouse of infidelity. However, since Illinois is a “no-fault divorce” state, it is not necessary to prove that a spouse's extramarital activities were the cause of the divorce. While obtaining evidence of adultery may be personally satisfying, it will typically not provide any legal advantage during divorce.

In addition, installing spyware may backfire on you, since these actions may constitute stalking, which could result in criminal charges. It is best to avoid using any illegal spyware or other eavesdropping methods before, during, or after your divorce.

Legal Spy Tactics

While it is not necessary to obtain evidence of infidelity or any other actions a spouse took that led to the end of your marriage, you may wish to demonstrate certain actions by your spouse that will affect the decisions made during your divorce. For example, if you can demonstrate that your spouse has dissipated marital assets, this may affect the division of marital property. In addition, if you can show that your spouse's behavior could put your children at risk, this could impact the court's decisions about child custody

When obtaining evidence that you plan to present in court, there are a couple of options. You can record your phone conversations as evidence. However, Illinois is an "all-party consent" state, which means all parties must know they are being recorded in order to be legal evidence. You could also look at the information your spouse has posted publicly on social media. Pictures they share may show that they are engaging in lavish spending of marital funds or that they are engaging in activities like heavy drinking or drug use that may indicate that they would not be able to safely care for children.

If you are looking for additional evidence, you may consider hiring a reputable private investigator. However, it is important to make sure the private investigator follows the laws of the state of Illinois. If they try to take any shortcuts or take illegal actions such as making audio or video recordings of your spouse without their consent, the evidence they capture will not be admissible in court.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

Divorce can be complicated, even in the best scenarios. When it comes to using technology to gather evidence, it is important to abide by the law. Your divorce lawyer can help you understand how Illinois' laws apply to your case and make sure you have the most up-to-date information for using evidence in court. Contact our experienced Wheaton family law attorneys today at 630-462-9500 to set up your initial consultation.

Sources:

https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2018/01/04/556185863/what-to-do-if-spyware-comes-up-in-your-relationship

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