When trust in a marital relationship is broken, it may be tempting to record and spy on the activities of your spouse in the hope that it might give you an advantage during divorce. You may also assume that hard evidence of adultery may give you an upper hand in a custody battle, alimony, or in property division. However, in Massachusetts, adultery will rarely give you any extra advantage during a divorce.
To understand the legal implications of recording or spying on your spouse when you are contemplating a divorce, you should consult with divorce attorney Jay Davis in Massachusetts. At Davis Law Group, our legal team headed by Jay will guide you about how to prepare for a divorce. We will advise you against engaging in any such unauthorized recording or spying activity that may put you at a disadvantage during the divorce proceedings.
At the same time, divorce attorney Jay Davis will also help you protect your own personal information so that you don’t become a victim of any type of illegal hacking, spying, or recording activity. Depending on your situation, we may recommend that you change your passwords related to your individual bank account, email, social media accounts, laptop, and cell phone. To receive the right legal advice, call Davis Law Group at 617-221-3548 and schedule your free consultation or contact us online.
Is Spying on a Spouse Permitted in Massachusetts?
The answer is “No.” Spying on your spouse may create potential criminal liability. Moreover, you may be violating the right to privacy under Massachusetts law, which can create a civil liability. In the considered opinion and experience of divorce attorney Jay Davis, spying or clandestine surveillance in marriage is likely to disadvantage the individual engaged in that act, and not the victim of that act.
In a divorce case, the violation of your ex-spouse’s right to privacy may result in the court awarding financial compensation to the victim. While you may think, for example, that proving your spouse’s disloyalty in marriage through spying evidence on your own will help your case — in reality judges in Massachusetts are unlikely to reward unlawful actions. In most cases, the court will prevent the admission of any information of this type that you may have obtained through unlawful surveillance on your ex or may even use it against you.
Clients sometimes ask divorce attorney Jay Davis whether it is legal to place a GPS tracker on the car of their spouse without his or her knowledge. At Davis Law Group, we strongly advise our clients against such activity, which can backfire on you if the other party brings this fact before the court during a divorce. Under Massachusetts law, three or more incidents of following someone may attract a criminal charge of stalking.
If you follow your spouse or ex-spouse with a GPS tracker, the court is likely to consider it as stalking. To learn more about your rights under the state law, and what do’s and don’ts you should follow if you are contemplating a divorce, you should set up your complimentary consultation with family law attorney Jay Davis who’s been through the legal minefields before and lived to talk about it. Give us a call at 617-221-3548 or write to us online.
What Happens if Your Spouse is Secretly Spying on You?
It is possible that your spouse may decide to spy on you and record your activities if he or she is considering a divorce. They may believe that “the ends will justify the means” they adopt. Even if their goal is to establish evidence of your adultery, bad parenting, or extravagant spending, they cannot do it using unlawful means.
At Davis Law Group, when a client suspects that their spouse may be spying on them, we suggest them to first determine whether he or she has access to shared devices, such as a computer or tablet or cell phone. In case of shared access, your spouse may not need to resort to spying or covert computer hacking techniques. Under Massachusetts law, it may not be considered unauthorized computer hacking if a person has legitimate access to a shared device.
But if your spouse or ex has engaged in a clandestine recording of your voice in-person or over the phone, it may be considered illegal under the wiretapping laws in Massachusetts. As a “two-party consent” state, Massachusetts does not permit recording audio or video of another person without some sort of consent.
Consult with Davis Law Group in Massachusetts for the Right Legal Advice
It’s fair if you want to expose your spouse’s wrongful behavior before the court during a divorce. But your best move would be to let seasoned divorce lawyer Jay Davis and his skilled legal team at Davis Law Group handle discovery. We will also guide you about the ethical and legitimate ways of discovery and prepare admissible evidence to support your case.
If your ex has indulged in snooping or surveillance against you, we will work hard to establish the facts before the law. Even if the other party’s actions may not be entirely illegal, simply the act of spying on a spouse can be viewed by the court as a sign of poor character. Attorney Jay Davis can help ensure that you get the desired outcome in your divorce case, while any unfairness on part of your ex can be effectively countered to protect your rights.
To learn more about how we can help you with your divorce and other family law matters, call us at 617-221-3548 or send us a message online.
James H. (Jay) Davis III
Thank you for reading. Need to talk? 617-221-3548