Spying on your wife or husband

by Marie

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I generally do not recommend spying on your spouse after you decide to get a divorce. If you find your spouse is cheating, there are few legal remedies for you. Under Illinois law, cheating will likely not affect custody of the children, child support, marital distribution of assets or much else. In most cases, the only thing you will get is heartache.

If you believe that your spouse is blowing marital money on a new found love, you (or your lawyer) can petition the court for a financial restraining order. This order forbids your spouse from using the family money for non-marital purposes. The order is common in divorce proceedings and you do not need proof of infidelity to get it.

Some Situations Warrant Investigation

Although I generally do not recommend spying on a cheating spouse, there are some situations in which a little investigation might be useful.

If you believe that your spouse has spent a lot of money on affairs in the past, it may be useful to do a little digging. If you have enough proof, you may be able to claim that the expensive affairs were unauthorized dissipation of marital funds (since you would never have agreed to the expenses). In a divorce, you could get the money you would have gotten if your spouse had not wasted the family money on affairs.

Illinois law is not very clear on what can be considered marital dissipation of funds. It is not even clear on when it can happen. The court could rule in your favor or against you. Either way, this kind of digging is only worthwhile if the expenses were extreme and really drained the family’s bank account.

Don’t Break the Law

If you choose to spy on your spouse please make sure not to break the law. Here are some things you should not do if you live in Chicago, Illinois:

  • Secretly record your spouse’s phone conversations,
  • Open his/her mail,
  • Use his/her password to access his/her internet accounts (unless he/she gave you the password), and
  • Break into his/her office.

Things you can probably search through:

  • The family’s computer,
  • Phone messages on your or the family’s phone,
  • Mail he left open around the house,
  • Financial documents in the home,
  • Records from joint accounts (phone, credit cards, mortgage…etc), and
  • Anything else that he left out and about for you to find.

Conclusion: If you must spy, be careful not to break the law.