Thinking about doing some sleuthing on a spouse during a heated divorce? You probably want to think again. With all the technical advances at our disposal, monitoring the behaviors, locations and conversations of others can be easier than ever; and many of the people tempted to do so are the very same ones who are involved in a contentious divorce.
Getting divorced can be a very upsetting and emotional experience. It is no surprise that people want to protect their feelings, their reputations and their assets during this difficult time, and they may go to extreme lengths to do so. But as a recent news story reminds us, not all of these methods are lawful.
A Texas man is now facing a criminal charge and a potential 20 years in jail after he took steps to spy on his wife while the two were going through a divorce. Reports indicate that the man worked with an IT specialist to install a spyware program on his wife’s computer without her knowledge. The program was designed to record all her digital interactions, passwords and keystrokes and send a report back to the husband.
The program itself, which is called eBlaster, is a legitimate product and can be lawfully used by parents to monitor children’s online habits, teachers and even employers. However, Texas law prohibits spouses from using the software to spy on each other.
During heated divorces, people can make some risky, and sometimes illegal decisions in an attempt to either protect themselves or to punish a soon-to-be ex. However, before a person takes any of these steps, it is critical that they understand what may be at stake. In this case, the man could be sentenced to prison if convicted, and his own reputation may have suffered a damaging blow. Instead of taking matters into your own hands during a divorce, it may be best to speak with an attorney who can help spouses identify effective and lawful ways of protecting themselves and seeking a fair settlement.
Source: Culture Map Houston, “Noted cancer surgeon accused of hacking ex-wife’s computer during divorce,” Tyler Rudick, Jan. 8, 2014