You may trust your spouse – but does your spouse trust you?
You may have something to hide or you may have nothing to hide, but either way knowing that you’re being spied on feels like a terrible invasion of your privacy. You need the help of an experienced family law attorney to navigate the complexities associated with spousal spying during a divorce or custody case.
Some forms of spying aren’t just offensive – they’re illegal. Information a spouse uncovers about you via illegal spying can’t be used against you directly in a divorce action or custody battle. However, if the illegally obtained information leads to legal sources of information, and your spouse can cover his or her tracks, then your spouse’s spying could end up hurting you in court.
The fact that your spouse is spying on you is also a warning sign that your relationship is in serious trouble.
Your spouse might spy on you for any number of reasons.
Most commonly, spouses who spy are looking for evidence of an affair. But spouses may spy for other reasons as well:
If you are cheating or otherwise hiding something, then you may be leaving clues all over the place – a whispered phone conversation, a quick change of computer screens, unexplained expenses, etc. Maybe your spouse has asked you straight out about these things; maybe he or she is afraid to. Maybe your spouse just wants to know the truth – even if it hurts – so he or she can get on with life… maybe without you.
In Arizona, a spouse is entitled to alimony if he or she is dependent on the other spouse and if the court concludes that awarding alimony would be fair under the circumstances.
One of the factors a court will consider is marital misconduct by either spouse. If a court finds that the supporting spouse committed adultery, then the court must order the supporting spouse to pay alimony to the dependent spouse.
If the supported spouse or both spouses committed adultery, then the court can use its discretion to either award or deny alimony to the supported spouse.
It’s not considered “marital misconduct” if one spouse condoned the adultery of the other. Thus, if one spouse knew that the other was cheating, and forgave or accepted it, then the court would not consider infidelity a factor in awarding alimony.
The same issues apply in the case of post-separation support.
Courts can also take adultery into consideration when making decisions about child custody.
Although an affair will not generally be an issue when it comes to the division of property, if a cheating spouse spent significant marital assets on the affair, then the affair is relevant. For example, did the cheating spouse buy expensive gifts (such as jewelry) for a lover? Did the cheating spouse spend money on hotel rooms or vacations with the lover, or even set him or her up in a “love nest” apartment?
A spouse who suspects an affair may spy in order to uncover evidence that could support the filing of a civil lawsuit for criminal conversation or alienation of affection against the spouse’s paramour.
The lover may be required to pay damages for:
Your spouse may be spying on you in any or all of a number of ways:
Your spouse may not need any special software or gadgets to check your email. He or she may simply check your computer or smartphone when you’re not using them, if they’re not protected by a password.
Your spouse may also know (or be able to guess) your passwords and get into your email and Internet accounts that way.
Your spouse may also install spyware in your computer or cellphone that will allow him or her to remotely monitor your emails and the websites (including dating sites and chat rooms) you’re visiting.
Keystroke logging (also called keylogging or keyboard capturing) software and hardware can allow your spouse to track every character you enter – including passwords to your personal financial accounts. There are tools (such as this one) you can use to detect whether there’s a keystroke logger installed on your computer.
So how else can you tell if you have spyware on your computer?
An anti-virus program, such as McAfee or Norton, should be able to detect spyware (or prevent it from being installed in the first place). If you don’t have anti-virus protection on your computer, you should get it for a lot of reasons – spying by your spouse is the least of your worries.
Your spouse may be able to install a program like phonesheriff INVESTIGATOR that allows him or her to view your text messages, call history, GPS location, contacts, photos, and other information. This particular program works by intercepting your iCloud backups, so if you change your iCloud password it will stop working.
If your Apple iPhone is “jailbroken,” then it’s especially vulnerable to spyware.
If YOU didn’t jailbreak your phone, then your spouse may have done it in order to install spyware. Here’s a site that will let you find out and restore the phone to the factory settings. Make sure your phone is backed up to iCloud before you reset it!
Your spouse may have the expertise or resources to bug your home, office, car or (landline) phone. Here are some signs that you might have been bugged:
How can you tell if you’re being followed?
You have several options when you discover that your spouse is spying.
One response is to be totally open and totally transparent. Admit to any wrongdoing and seek counseling to repair the damage to your relationship.
If you haven’t done anything wrong (and don’t plan to), offer to share passwords and “friend” each other on all of your social media accounts. Install an app such as GPS Tracker in your smartphone that will let your spouse see where you are at all times.
Another response is to explore why your spouse felt the need to spy on you. Is the problem with your spouse, with you, or with your relationship? You may need couple’s therapy to resolve these issues.
You can also decide to make it much harder for your spouse to spy on you, and hope that he or she quits trying. For example, you can use (and change) passwords on all your devices, use anti-spyware software, and have your home and office swept for bugs.
You may decide that the spying indicates your marriage is irrevocably broken and seek a divorce.
If you feel your spouse should be punished for violating your privacy, and especially if you think that your spouse may be a danger to you or to others, you can seek criminal penalties or civil remedies.
Some forms of spying are violations of state or federal law.
For example, if your spouse is found guilty of violating the Federal Wire Tapping Act, at a very minimum he or she can be ordered to stop the illegal acts. For example, a court can order him or her to remove spyware from your phone or computer, stop recording your calls, etc.
If your spouse previously violated the Act and continues to do so, he or she can be subject to fines of $500 for each violation.
Your spouse can also face up to five years in prison for violating the Act.
Violation of the Arizona Electronic Surveillance Act is a Class H Felony. Damages to the victim are calculated at the rate of $100 per day, or $1000 total, whichever is greater. Under the state law, you can also recover punitive damages to punish your spouse, and attorney’s fees to pay your lawyer.
Under Arizona law, you can bring a civil action against your spouse (or former spouse) for invasion of privacy by intrusion.
This tort is defined as follows:
One who intentionally intrudes, physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of another or his private affairs or concerns, is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy, if the intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.
Feel free to contact us at https://www.familylawattorneymesaaz.net/ for expert guidance if you’re facing an imminent divorce or considering divorcing your spouse. At Jensen Family Law, we are proud to represent you!
Our team of family law attorneys and divorce attorneys look forward to helping you when you need it most. With over two decades of aggressive divorce, child custody, child support, and divorce mediation representation we will not allow you to be taken advantage of. We believe in making a difference in the lives of our clients and their children.
Located in Mesa Arizona, on Val Vista and Southern Avenue. Our Family Law Attorneys and Divorce Lawyers in Mesa AZ have been helping our clients achieve the legal results they are searching for. Our Mesa Law Firm offers Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.
Located On Dobson Road, just North of W. Chandler Blvd, near the 101 Freeway. We have a team of the Best Divorce Lawyers and Family Law Attorneys in Chandler Arizona. Our Chandler Law Firm offers Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.
Located in South East Gilbert, Near Higley High School on Pecos Road, West of Power Road in the Power Ranch Neighborhood. Our Gilbert Law Firm offers Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.
Located in the Community of Anthem in Florence Arizona, off of Hunt Hwy. Our Florence Law Firm is staffed with family law attorneys that offer Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.
Located in Glendale. Our Glendale Law Firm offers Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.
Jensen Family Law in Mesa is located on 3740 E Southern Ave Suite 210, 85206 Mesa, Arizona. From Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Take S 41st St to E Sky Harbor Blvd, then head west on E Sky Harbor Blvd and Use the left lane to take the exit toward S 41st St. Then Turn right onto S 41st St. After that, Continue straight to stay on S 41st St, then Take AZ-202 Loop E, AZ-101 Loop S and US-60 E to S Val Vista Dr in Mesa. Take exit 184 from US-60 E after that Merge onto E Sky Harbor Blvd, then Use the left 2 lanes to merge onto AZ-202 Loop E toward Tempe/Mesa and Use the right 3 lanes to take exit 9 to merge onto AZ-101 Loop S. After that, Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 55A-B to merge onto US-60 E toward Globe, then Take exit 184 for Val Vista Dr. Then Continue on S Val Vista Dr to your destination and Turn left onto S Val Vista Dr. Turn right onto E Southern Ave, then turn left and Destination will be on the right.
We’re open 9 AM – 5 PM Monday – Friday and we are closed on Saturday and Sunday.
For additional questions you can call us at (480) 999-2321 or you can find us on Yelp.