I THINK MY SPOUSE IS CHEATING: Is finding out a crime?

Everyone becomes a super sleuth the moment they suspect their spouse is cheating. People look for proof of the infidelity and sometimes go outside of the realm of lawfulness to obtain the incriminating information.


There are many types of software that you can utilize to download text messages from your spouse’s cell phone onto a computer. The possibility of recovering deleted text messages and viewing dialed numbers can be accessed by certain pieces of software. The downside is that it may be illegal to extract these messages especially if the phone does not belong to you. Even if you were to obtain copies of the text messages they may not be admissible in court.


Accessing your spouse’s email account may be as simple as accessing via their mobile phone. Sometimes, you may be able to access the account through a computer because the password was auto-saved. One of the first things a divorce lawyer Arlington TXtrusts will ask is how was the evidence obtained. In some instances, obtaining access to an email account without authorization may make you liable for a serious crime. Accessing an email without authorization may make whatever evidence you found inadmissible in court.


Placing a recording device on your spouse’s cellphone can open you up to criminal and civil causes of action. Different states have different laws when it comes to recording conversations on the phone. One state may require only one person to consent whereas others may require both people to consent to the recording. Additionally, evidence of your spouse’s phone conversations while you are not a party to the conversation may not be admissible in court.


Placing a GPS tracker on your spouse’s vehicle may not be a good idea either. If the vehicle is driven primarily by the other spouse or if the vehicle is owned or leased by the other spouse, you may be in violation of criminal laws. Community property law and/or marriage does not give you a legal basis to place a GPS tracker on your spouse’s vehicle.


Both federal and state wiretapping laws apply to divorcing spouses. Every person has a certain right to privacy. Any information obtained by illegal means may open up the other spouse to criminal prosecution and/or civil liability. Not knowing the law does not mean you are exempt from the law. The best case scenario is to seek out a lawyer prior to gathering evidence.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from the Brandy Austin Law Firm PLLC for their insight into when investigating becomes criminal.

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