When you're in the middle of a divorce -- or even married, for that matter -- snooping is a no-no. Take it from a well-known cancer surgeon from Houston who is facing serious criminal charges for hacking into his wife's computer during the couple's divorce proceedings, reports Houston's CultureMap.
Here are three ways to avoid illegal snooping during a divorce:
- Stay off social media. During divorce proceedings, it's best to play it safe and lay low on social media. If you can't resist the urge to tweet or post status updates, keep it to a minimum. Apart from the risk of e-blurting out horrible things about your soon-to-be ex, even seemingly innocuous posts can come back to haunt you in court. They may be used as evidence to paint you in a negative light and reveal your character flaws. Um, and maybe stay off dating websites -- especially Ashley Madison...
- Be careful about private investigators. Although Texas offers scant protection to divorcing spouses from "spousal surveillance" (think along the lines of that trashy TV show "Cheaters"), probing partners should be wary of crossing the line. Using a private investigator or high-tech surveillance gadget to catch a spouse doing something bad may seem like the perfect way to nail a former flame in court. But intrusive snooping could be construed as an invasion of privacy, which could harm your case and also lead to a separate civil lawsuit against you. If the PI accesses your spouse's computer, you could face a number of computer crime-related charges.
- Be mindful of restraining orders. If you get swept up in your snooping scheme and wind up violating a protective court order, you could be held in contempt of court and face a slew of legal consequences, including fines and/or jail time.
As we saw from the disappointing film "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," the married couple edition of "Spy vs. Spy" isn't all that it's cracked up to be. In the divorce context, it's more than unsatisfying, it's harmful. Before embarking on a spousal snooping vision quest, clear your scheme with a family law attorney.
- Houston Courthouses (FindLaw's Texas State Laws)
- Three Effects of Adultery on a Texas Divorce (FindLaw's Houston Family Law Blog)
- Allen Iverson's Divorce: Estranged Wife Demands List of Lovers (FindLaw's Houston Family Law Blog)
- Facebook Responsible For Twenty Percent of Divorces? (FindLaw's Houston Family Law Blog)