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The Legality of Spying

During a divorce, child custody or family law battle it may be tempting to channel your inner Nancy Drew and engage in a little spying on your spouse or ex-spouse in an attempt to give yourself a leg-up in court. Some of these methods are legal, however most of them are not and there is a fine line between legal, inadmissible in court and illegal. Whether you are attempting to find out whether your spouse or ex-spouse is hiding assets, having an affair or violating your final judgment it is easy to get yourself into a tricky situation when playing detective. Before you take any action to spy on your spouse, consult your attorney to figure out if what you plan will behoove or destroy your case in court.

For example, if your spouse accidentally forwards you an email meant for a friend a discusses taking money from a secret account to pay for a trip or moving money to hide it during the divorce this is fair game and may be used against your spouse in court. If you and your spouse share an email or social networking account this is also fair game. However, if you obtain this information illegally through tapping a cell phone, using a GPS locator or hacking your ex's email this information is inadmissible in court and may get you in trouble with the law.
Information sent to you or available to the public is safe to use.

For example, if you and your ex-spouse have a First Opportunity to Care clause in your divorce and you post on Facebook about a night out from 5pm until midnight and you did not offer the other parent the first opportunity to care for the child during that time that information may be used as proof that you violated the divorce agreement. Even if your ex is not your friend on social media that post may be used against you in court.


Additionally, overhearing your ex-spouse talking about your custody case at your child's soccer game does not violate any Florida eavesdropping laws. However, hacking your ex-spouse's voice mail constitutes as eavesdropping.
If you have any intentions of spying on your spouse, please contact an experienced family law attorney first to determine if what you are doing is legal and if the information is admissible in court. If you and your spouse are going through a divorce we recommend you change your passwords and stop using on any shared email or social media accounts. Contact the family law team at Platt Hopwood for any questions regarding your case and to schedule your free consultation (321) 725-3425.

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