“All is fair in love and war.” In divorce, both apply.
Most of the time, clandestine actions aren’t required, aren’t even contemplated in divorce. They just don’t apply. Most of the time, the soon-to-be exes are sufficiently straightforward with each other that sneaking about isn’t warranted, isn’t justified, isn’t relevant.
But sometimes, clandestine conduct is just what the doctor ordered.
Basically, if your spouse is operating under the covers, you have need to, also. If he’s stepping out, protecting his phone with his life, keeping his passwords to himself, you have cause to be suspicious and you have a need to become a sleuth. If she’s missing for periods of time, if she’s having a girls night out quite often, if she’s coming home looking a little worn for the occasion, you have cause and need to get to the bottom of it.
Bottom line, you can record your own conversations without anyone else approving or even knowing. You cannot record conversations to which you are not a part. That’s wire tapping.
Bottom line, you can review and copy any file you find on your spouse’s computer, etc, providing that at some point you were provided (or created) the password or providing that your spouse was careless enough to leave the computer open for your review. You can’t break into the computer until you crack the codes. That’s hacking.
Bottom line, you can set up a video camera to catch suspected crime in your house. You can’t set up a video camera just to spy on your spouse.
Bottom line, you can place a GPS tracker on your car. You can’t place it on anyone else’s.
Bottom line, you can follow your spouse from the bar to the hotel. You can’t shoot video through the barely parted curtains into the room to record whatever might be going on in there. That’s a peeping Tom.
Bottom line, you can tip the cleaning staff to provide you with the contents of the hotel room’s trash can. You can’t put a listening device against the wall in the next room.
We’ve busted so many errant spouses in so many creative ways. It is an important part of what we do. Want video of her making out in the car with her new boyfriend? Done. Want the cell phone records that show 2:00 am, one hour conversations? Done. Want the paper trail showing tens of thousands of dollars moving from one account in one country into several accounts in several countries? Done.
A well seasoned attorney will know all the ins and outs of catching a spouse at whatever their game may be: sleeping around, hiding financial records, illicit drug use. A seasoned attorney knows the signs. A seasoned attorney knows the tells.
Don’t suffer in the dark. Don’t torture yourself with the unknown. If you want to know, you have a right to know. There is a time for everything. It may be time to go clandestine.