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What Coloradoans should re-consider ‘spousal spying’

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2014 | Divorce |

A spouse’s infidelity is at least one factor in no small number of Denver divorces. With ever-more-sophisticated electronic devices on the market, many husbands and wives who believe their significant other is not being faithful are turning to technology to help them prove it. However, while this may give them the proof they seek to know that their suspicions are correct, there can be a legal price to pay for such electronic surveillance.

We’ve all seen movies and televisions shows from decades past with private investigators sitting in a car waiting to snap a picture of a wandering spouse and his or her paramour at a hotel or other rendezvous location. Now it can be a do-it-yourself undertaking, using any number of gadgets. GPS devices are popular, as are spying devices that can be set up in the house if you want to know what your partner is up to while you’re out of town on business. The owner of one Colorado Springs retailer who sells these devices says that many of his customers “want to monitor activity in their home while they’re away.”

However, recording someone without his or her knowledge or consent can be illegal. That’s why if you feel the need to do that, you should get legal counsel first. Whether you are already talking to a divorce attorney or haven’t gotten that far yet, it is essential not to undertake this activity without knowing what the law is. Under federal law, it is illegal to record a person while he or she is speaking without consent. Keep that in mind before you record someone talking on the phone or leave a recording device under the bed. Laws regarding cameras to surveil someone vary by state.

Potential criminal consequences for spousal spying include harassment, stalking and invasion of privacy. There could be civil consequences as well. The person being spied upon could file a lawsuit.

In short, never do anything without consulting your divorce attorney or other legal advisor, no matter how tempting it may be. While you might think that catching your spouse “in the act” will help your divorce case, it could indeed backfire and place you in a far worse situation with your divorce and child custody agreement than if you had never proven infidelity. It could also have far-reaching legal implications long after the cheating spouse is out of your life.

Source: Fox 21 News, “Spouses turn to spying to catch cheaters” Kristyn Leon, Feb. 13, 2014


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