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Can you spy on a spouse in Massachusetts?

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2023 | Divorce |

Your trust in your spouse may be entirely broken – and your marriage along with it. Worse, you suspect that your spouse is lying about anything from a clandestine relationship to hidden assets, and you know the divorce is heading to litigation.

Is it time to do some snooping? While it’s tempting to spy on your spouse to gain evidence that you can use in your upcoming litigation you could end up putting yourself in a much worse position by making any unauthorized recordings or intrusions on their privacy. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

It’s illegal to guess passwords and look through their online accounts

You might think that there could be a lot of information hidden in your spouse’s electronic devices, and you’re pretty sure you can guess their passwords – but don’t even attempt it.

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Wiretap Act make it illegal for anybody to intercept another person’s electronic communications – such as emails, text messages and private chats – without permission.

In addition, you can forget about clandestinely recording your conversations with your spouse as you try to collect evidence that you might find useful in court. Massachusets is a two-party consent state for audio recordings, so you need their permission to start recording.

Video recordings are also complicated. You can’t put video cameras on someone without their consent in any area where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

What can you do?

There are legal ways to approach the situation when you need information that your spouse seems unwilling to give. Experienced legal guidance can help you better understand your options.