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Snooping or Gathering Evidence In A Florida Divorce Could Land You In Trouble

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In contentious divorces, the spouses may feel the need to gain any advantage over each other, and may feel that any means of gaining that advantage is acceptable. This sometimes leads to spouses spying or snooping on each other during the course of their divorce, in an attempt to get evidence against each other.  While in some instances gathering evidence may be by acceptable means, in others, it can lead to one or both spouses breaking the law.

Generally, e-mail and text messages sent from one spouse to another can be saved and printed for later use in court. This also goes for messages left on an answering machine. However, intercepting emails or other messages that are sent to other people is illegal. For instance, if one spouse installs a virus on the other spouse’s computer for purposes of intercepting emails, any emails the intercepting spouse sees, no matter how damaging, cannot be used as evidence in the divorce because they were obtained in violation of the law.

This is true of recording telephone conversations as well. Florida is a two party consent state when it comes to recordings. This means that if one spouse is recording a telephone conversation with the other spouse, both of them must consent to the recording. It is also illegal to plant a recording device on your spouse’s telephone to record telephone calls between your spouse and others.

Social media statements or messages that are posted to a public page or board are fair game as evidence in a divorce. If divorcing spouses remain friends on Facebook or any other social media platform, and are able to see what they post, they can print off any posts or images that may affect issues in their divorce, and present them as evidence. So if one spouse is making negative comments about the couple’s children or expressing an inability to care for them, this information may be used in court if posted publicly.

The possibility of having social media posts introduced in court during a divorce is also the reason most attorneys advise their clients to avoid talking about the divorce or any other issues that may affect the swift resolution of the divorce.

If the couple knows each other’s social media passwords, they should avoid signing into the accounts in order to snoop around for more information. It is also important to remember that if you have exchanged passwords, you should change the passwords as soon as you are separated.

Let Us Help You

No matter how much you want to ensure that you get evidence against your spouse for use in your divorce, it is important to be careful not to break the law. Not only can this expose you to possible criminal penalties, it will not provide you with evidence you can use in court. If you are going through a divorce, let our experienced staff handle the investigative aspect of the divorce. To get started, contact our experienced Boca Raton, Florida divorce attorneys, at the Law Offices of Schwartz l White for legal assistance.

Resource:

leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0900-0999/0934/Sections/0934.03.html

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