Spying on Your Spouse During Divorce Is a Terrible Idea
Two wrongs don’t make a right. If your spouse has betrayed your trust by lying to you, having extramarital affairs, or misusing money that was supposed to benefit your family, you will not make things better by going through his phone or computer or otherwise resorting to sneaky means to collect evidence of his lies. Dishonesty and jealousy tend to create a vicious cycle that is, unfortunately, common in marriages, especially those that end in divorce. From a legal perspective, it is better to believe your spouse’s lies, or at least to be unsure about the truth, than it is to spy on your spouse in order to prove that he is lying. The family court treats electronic snooping within marriage as a form of stalking, whereas divorce courts tend to think of marital dishonesty and extramarital affairs as all in a day’s work. You could even get criminal penalties for electronic snooping. A Boca Raton divorce lawyer can help you expose your spouse’s lies to the divorce court without breaking the law.
Don’t Be an Amateur Private Investigator to Catch Your Spouse in a Lie
You have probably heard people tell stories of a nightmarish ex-spouse who used to constantly log into her husband’s email or go through his phone after she sweet talked him into giving her his password or watched his keystrokes carefully as he entered it. Whatever you do, do not be that ex-spouse, even if your spouse has already filed for divorce and you are sure that your marriage is over.
Do not secretly record phone conversations with your spouse in an effort to catch her telling you the opposite of what she told the judge, or even to catch her being verbally abusive. Florida law requires both parties to consent to the recording of the phone conversation, or else the party that recorded the conversation can face criminal charges for wiretapping, also known as intercepts of communication. Intercepting of communication, whether the communication in question is a phone call, in-person conversation, text message exchange or email, is a third-degree felony, and the maximum penalty is five years in state prison. In 2012, the Florida Supreme Court issued a ruling in the France v. France divorce case, in which it stated that Florida’s wiretapping law applied to a man who recorded a phone conversation with his ex-wife while he was in Florida and she was in North Carolina.
If your spouse is lying, the truth will prevail. Gather documents that contradict what your spouse has been telling you and the judge. All the better if these documents are from sources that cannot be biased; bank statements are admissible in court, whereas illegally recorded phone conversations are not. Furthermore, the court is not there to pick sides in every petty disagreement. The court does not really care that your spouse is a good-for-nothing, filthy liar; it’s only concern is dividing the marital property in the fairest possible way.
Contact Schwartz | White About Divorcing a Pathological Liar
A South Florida family law attorney can help you finalize your divorce if you have never heard a true statement come out of your spouse’s mouth. Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.