August 07, 2023
The breakdown of trust is detrimental to marriages. Jealousy and secrecy can make you feel like you no longer recognize the person you married. If you know that divorce is inevitable, you might be tempted to collect evidence by any means necessary to show that your spouse is much more dangerous and less trustworthy than anyone realizes. While it might make for a page-turning novel or a popcorn-munching movie plot, surreptitiously recording your spouse in order to make him look bad in divorce court is a terrible idea. Not only will it not help you get the marital property and parenting time you want, but you could even face criminal charges. A Chicago electronic snooping lawyer can help you reveal the truth about your spouse without destroying your own credibility or breaking the law.
Illinois follows the law of “all party consent” regarding video and audio recordings. A recording is not admissible in court unless all parties depicted in the audio or video consented to it. If you secretly record a phone conversation with your spouse, it is not admissible in court. Recordings at social gatherings, where your spouse knew he was being recorded, may be admissible.
Even if your spouse willingly shared his password with you, do not log into his email account or open his phone unless he is sitting right next to you and has specifically asked you to access his devices. Even though you might find all kinds of juicy screenshots that clearly show your spouse concealing assets from you or flirting with other women, the court will not accept them if you captured them without your spouse’s consent. You could even face civil or criminal penalties for computer tampering if you secretly go through your spouse’s computer or phone.
If you suspect that your spouse is not where he says he is, do not try to prove this by GPS tracking your spouse’s phone or car. If your spouse does not consent to you tracking him, you could be charged with stalking.
In most cases, the court does not care about all the gory details of your spouse’s extramarital affairs and the condescending tone with which he speaks to you. Divorce is primarily about dissolving a financial partnership, so let the documents tell the story. If your spouse says one thing and the paper trail says another, this is sufficient to catch your spouse in a lie. If you suspect that your spouse is concealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets, your divorce lawyer may work with a private investigator to uncover the truth.
A Chicago family law attorney can help you present your case compellingly in divorce court without resorting to electronic snooping. Contact Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group in Chicago, Illinois, to discuss your case.