- November 10
- Evans & Herlihy
- Family Law
Whether you know your relationship is on rocky ground or not, you may find yourself asking what to do when your spouse is spying on you. While no one likes to think it will get to this level, all too often it does, and you may feel threatened or angry that your privacy is being disrespected in this way.
There can be numerous reasons for your spouse’s spying. He or she may not trust you and be looking for a reason to confront you or to justify his or her own actions. If you’re going through a divorce or a child custody battle, your spouse may be seeking information to use against you.
These days, spying on a spouse is not uncommon and may include the hiring of an investigator or someone else to keep tabs on you. Understanding what is legal and what is not can help you stay calm throughout the days ahead.
Why Would My Spouse Spy on Me?
Staying calm and considering the answer to why would my spouse spy on me can help you understand what is going on. Is your spouse hurt or angry that the marriage is breaking up? Has something happened recently that could have led to such action being taken?
In many situations, the spying spouse is overly paranoid, suspicious you are doing something that needs to be exposed. Sometimes it’s a fact-finding mission of sorts, to gather information to make them look better and you look worse during divorce or custody proceedings. Still, a spouse may be feeling insecure in the relationship and want proof of your sincerity and trustworthiness. A more dangerous motive is the need to feel in control of you and the relationship itself.
There are many specific reasons your spouse may be spying on you, but here are some of the most common ones.
- To see if you are meeting someone else and having an affair
- To document any excessive drinking or drug taking that could cast you in an irresponsible light
- To identify who you are spending time with and whether they are a bad influence in some way
- To document your spending habits as a way to determine whether you are fiscally responsible or potentially receiving money from an unknown source
- To confirm your work schedule and that you’re not lying to the court about how much you work and where
- To see that you are attending classes to further your education, which is being supported by the marital finances.
Relationships already are difficult enough. And when separation or divorce is involved, it can be a difficult time for all involved. Taking measures such as spying on a spouse may be seen as a way to gain an advantage somehow. Perhaps the goal is to find a way out of paying higher alimony or child support or to gain full custody of the children.
How Do You Find Out if Your Spouse is Spying on You?
There are many ways your spouse may be spying on you, but it can be difficult to confirm this. How do you find out if your spouse is spying on you, then? Here are a few suggestions.
- Stay aware of your surroundings and the people around you, whether walking or driving. Notice if a car seems to be following you and, if so, pull over or change lanes. Notice what the follower does as a result.
- Pay attention to your cell phone. Cell phones are where you spend a lot of time, and they’re a popular place for spying to occur. Does your battery die more quickly than it used to, or do you hear unusual sounds coming from it, even when not on a call? Also, compare your data usage month-to-month and see if it has skyrocketed recently. These clues are all potential signs that you have spyware installed on your cell phone. If so, everything you do on your phone is copied, or duplicated, and saved on a server where your spouse has access.
- Check your home and belongings for cameras and bugging devices. Often, the innocent-looking nanny cam is really being used to spy on you. Other hidden cameras may be planted, as well as bugging devices to capture conversations. Notice if your landline produces odd noises while you are on there or if volume fades in and out. If so, it may be bugged.
- Check your vehicle for tracking devices. The next time you take your vehicle to the shop, ask the mechanic to be on the lookout for any GPS-type tracking device.
Other ways your spouse may be spying on you are by listening in on phone calls or checking your phone to see who you are calling or who is calling you. He or she may install spyware or keystroke-capturing software on your computer or tablet to monitor your activities.
What to Do When Your Spouse is Spying on You?
Learning that your spouse is spying on you is a true eye-opener that there’s trouble in the relationship. If you are separated and already in the stages of filing for a divorce, you may wonder whether they are attempting to gather information to use against you in the proceedings.
Here are several suggestions of what to do when your spouse is spying on you.
- Consider getting a new cell phone under your own account.
- Change the passwords on your cell phone, email accounts, and social media and messaging apps. Devise unique passwords that your spouse will not easily guess. Avoid familiar names, locations, dates, and anything you have in common or that your spouse knows about.
- For iPhone users, take the time to change your iCloud password, which is a backup service saving everything on your phone in case of a crash. Anyone with your iCloud password can gain access.
- Change the password for computer and tablet access.
- Change the passcodes on your financial accounts if they are in your name only.
- Consider getting a factory reset for your electronic devices, including your cellphone, computer, and tablet. This will eliminate any spyware installed by your spouse. You’ll need to backup all your documents, photos, and contacts before doing so, however.
- Install anti-spyware and update anti-virus software on all your computers.
- Remove any nanny cams or other video surveillance systems, or at least be aware of them and avoid them whenever possible.
- Avoid posting on social media accounts for a while, including photos.
- Discuss your options with a family law or divorce attorney.
Is Spying on Your Spouse Illegal?
By now, you may be furious or nervous that your spouse is spying on you. But is spying on your spouse illegal? The answer to this is complicated, with it being both yes and no, depending upon the type of spying.
Both federal and state laws address the privacy issue and provide for different penalties. The first thing to know is that stolen evidence, as is often obtained through spying, is illegal to use against you in court.
Second, special laws are in place to protect the recording of your conversations. In Texas, the basic rules surrounding recorded conversations are that if you are a participant in the conversation, you do not need permission from anyone else to record it. However, if your spouse is not a participant in the conversation, any recording is illegal.
Texas has both criminal and civil laws in place concerning the interception of communications, so you will need to rely on these to protect you as well. Another illegal action in Texas is the placing of tracking devices in another’s vehicle without consent.
When it comes to strongly protecting your privacy, you may also have other rights to rely on. Seek legal advice to learn more about laws to protect you and other options you may have available.
Contact Our Divorce Lawyer About Your Concerns
If you already suspect your spouse is spying on you and are considering a divorce or are already in the process, speak with an experienced divorce lawyer with Evans & Herlihy today. We can help determine the consequences of spousal spying and keep illegally obtained information out of the courtroom.
Call our dedicated team today at (512) 732-2727 to schedule a free, initial consultation to get started.