It might result in some good evidence, but there’s a good chance it isn’t legal.
Social Media Platforms
Pretty much anything can be used as evidence in your divorce case. So if your ex is posting unflattering things about you on Facebook, that may be used against them in divorce court. Especially if those unflattering things include strategies to alienate you from the children. All pictures, status updates, blog posts, and pretty much anything else online may be used in divorce court. If you are not able to see your ex’s social media accounts, but you have a friend who is, your friend can choose to give you the evidence. As long as you don’t access your spouse’s accounts without their permission—more on that later.
Both parties likely will have legal access to the residence until there’s a court order awarding temporary exclusive use and possession of the residence to one of the parties. If you’re concerned about your ex snooping around at your residence after they’ve moved out, you may want to get a court order regarding the residence. A lot of people think that they have the right to show up at their ex’s house whenever they wish because their name is on the lease or deed. However, this is not necessarily true. If you have moved out of the house, you may not be able to just come back whenever you like just because your name is on the lease or deed. When a person files for divorce, a domestic relations injunction is automatically entered. This prevents parties from harassing and abusing each other, among other things. If you persistently show up uninvited at your ex’s residence, you may be violating the domestic relations injunction, even if you’re on the lease or mortgage. So if you’ve already moved all your stuff out, you may want to get legal advice before going back to your ex’s residence.
The laws about what you can record without consent vary from state to state. In most states, you can record conversations without each party’s consent, as long as you’re involved in the conversation. This means that in most states you can record your conversations with your ex. However, in some states even this is illegal if you don’t have your ex’s consent to record. You cannot hide audio recording or video recording devices in your ex’s home, car, office, or any other place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. Also, you cannot install GPS trackers in your ex’s car. Installing apps that gather and record data on your partner’s phone is also a violation of privacy. Generally speaking, those going through a divorce should learn about the law in their location before recording interactions with their ex. This is something an attorney can provide assistance with. In the event you believe your spouse needs to be followed or personally investigated, you may seek out a licensed private investigator to do the investigation.
Mail theft is a federal crime. You should not under any circumstances open your spouse’s mail during divorce. If you are on good terms with your spouse, you may be able to give them their mail in person, should you receive anything addressed to them. Alternatively, you could find a third party to deliver the mail to the spouse if you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself. Just because you aren’t allowed to open mail, doesn’t mean you can destroy it either. If there are important items addressed to your spouse, you cannot throw them away. Sometimes the best option is to write “return to sender” on the envelope when you cannot think of any other way to appropriately get your spouse’s mail to them. If you have moved out, it may be a good idea to obtain a post office box or alternative address where you can have your mail sent or redirected to.
You cannot hack into any of your spouse’s accounts. Furthermore, you cannot access your spouse’s social media accounts without their permission, even if you know their password.
However, you may be able to login to accounts you jointly shared with your spouse. You may wish to change the usernames and passwords to your financial accounts. Though laws and punishments will vary from state to state and case by case, it’s not advisable to impersonate your spouse online either. The domestic relations injunction prevents spouses from opening credit card accounts in the other person’s name. Therefore you should not open any financial accounts in your spouse’s name either.
When You’re Considering Divorce
If you’re going through divorce, having an attorney is often an essential part of getting the best results. Though it’s impossible to predict what courts and judges will do, an attorney can give you advice that’s customized to your specific situation. If you’re considering divorce, contact CoilLaw today to get the process started.