Marriages are built on emotion, so it should come as no surprise that divorces are emotionally charged as well. The important thing with both marriage and divorce is to not let that emotion overwhelm you and compromise your logic and decision making. Unfortunately, many spouses do allow emotion to cause them to lose their cool and make poor decisions regarding their divorce.
One decision that some people make during the divorce process that can result in regrettable consequences is the choice to spy on their soon-to-be former spouse. In many cases, people spy on their spouse because they are attempting to gather evidence that their spouse committed marital misconduct, which can help give them the advantage in divorce negotiations. However, if they go too far in trying to gather that evidence, their plan can backfire and instead put them at a disadvantage when it comes to divorce negotiations.
What Is Considered Marital Misconduct in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, marital misconduct includes a wide range of acts. One act that is often associated with marital misconduct involves a person voluntarily engaging in sexual intercourse or sex acts with someone other than their spouse. However, that is not the only form of marital misconduct. A few of the most common acts that are considered forms of marital misconduct include:
- Maliciously changing the marital home’s locks
- One spouse abandoning the other spouse
- A person treating their spouse so cruelly that it endangers their spouse’s life (this can often involve domestic violence)
- A person committing a criminal act that involuntary separates them from their spouse
- Engaging in illicit sexual behavior with a person other than your spouse
- A person forcing their spouse to endure indignities that make the spouse’s life burdensome
- A spouse concealing assets and/or recklessly spending the couple’s income
- One spouse using alcohol or drugs to excess and making the other spouse’s life intolerable as a result
- A person willfully failing to provide necessary subsistence to the point that it makes their spouse’s life intolerable
Is It Ever Okay for My Spouse to Spy on Me During Our Divorce?
If you and your spouse are on the verge of divorce, or already involved in one, and you suspect, or know, that they are spying on you, you need to speak with an experienced divorce attorney about it as soon as possible. In many cases, what they’re doing is not okay, especially if their actions include any of the following:
- Installing a keystroke tracker and/or spyware on your electronic devices
- Having a private investigator spy on you
- Listening to your phone calls
- Wiretapping your home, vehicle, or workplace
- Installing a GPS tracking device on your vehicle
- Gaining access to your social media or email accounts without permission
- Accessing your text messages without permission
- Using surveillance cameras to spy on you at home, in your vehicle, at work, or anywhere else
There are several consequences that someone can face for spying on their spouse. North Carolina’s Electronic Surveillance Act (ESA) prohibits a person from recording audio without the permission of at least one person being recorded. Violating North Carolina’s ESA is a Class H felony, and if a person is convicted of violating the ESA, they can face severe penalties.
The Federal Wiretapping Act prohibits installing spyware on a person’s phone or computer and recording a person’s phone calls without at least one person involved in the conversation consenting. If convicted of violating the Federal Wiretapping Act, a person may be forced to pay fines and serve time in prison.
If a person is found guilty of spying on their spouse, they could face civil penalties for invasion of privacy in addition to criminal punishments. Civil penalties for invasion of privacy generally include fines. If a person feels like their spying spouse is a danger to them, they could seek a protective order. A protective order can prohibit their spouse from harassing, stalking, or contacting them further. If person violates a protective order, it can result in them serving time in prison.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation with Our Experienced Divorce Lawyers Today
At Rech Law, P.C., we protect our clients. You shouldn’t ever have to worry about someone spying on you, especially the person you once called the love of your life. If your spouse crosses the line, we’ll be there to ensure that they face the consequences of their actions. Our divorce attorneys have years of experience protecting clients’ rights and guiding them through the process of securing as favorable an outcome as possible for their divorce.
To learn more about our history of helping clients, and how we can help you, check out our client testimonials page.
For more information about what to do if your spouse is spying on you, give us a call at (704) 659-0007 or contact us online today to set up a confidential consultation with our experienced divorce lawyers.