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Is it Illegal to Eavesdrop on Your Spouse in The US?

Everyone has a moment where they wonder what their spouse is up to. They, NY PI, feel that something is wrong or they have questions as to the legitimacy of a statement.

Before we answer the question as to whether or not it’s even legal to spy on a spouse, let’s take a moment to define the various methods of spying.

Keeping tabs on your partner’s private life may involve many different steps. Here are a few that could have potential legal issues depending on what you plan to do with the evidence and how your partner takes it.

Reading emails: It’s easy enough to eavesdrop on emails if you’re simply standing behind your partner when they’re reading their emails. However, if you actually log into their email account when they’re not at home or nearby, this may be construed as an unauthorized computer access. In the state of California and several other states, for example, this is a felony offense.

Recording a conversation: It’s one thing to record your spouse when the two of you are having a conversation via phone or some other means. However, it’s not legal if you’re not involved in the conversation and neither of the two parties is aware of the recording.

Hidden cameras: Obviously many people have security systems in their homes today. This is fine and a reasonable means in which you can see what is going on. However, if you suspect that your spouse is cheating on you and set up a hidden camera you may be in violation of privacy laws. If you record this as well as use the video footage, you’re also in violation of the previously mentioned recording.

GPS tracking: Today, more than ever before, there are many ways to utilize GPS tracking. From checking cell phones to attaching one to a car you can track where someone has gone fairly easily and have a treasure trove of valuable information that can prove an unfaithful spouse. This one is slightly trickier, many GPS units do this automatically and a court of law will admit this as evidence. As long as the person is on public roads, it may be allowed depending on the specific situation.

Clearly, no one wants to be the last one to know that their spouse is cheating. However, finding the right evidence to submit to a court of law may be tricky depending on which state you reside in. Many states have “no-fault” divorce laws so no one has to prove anything. If you suspect something and the answers aren’t forthcoming, you may simply file and be on your way to freedom. However, if you reside in a state whereby you must prove something, it’s best to consult with an attorney and/or a private investigator and find out what you can do to prove it. Don’t risk charges against yourself simply to prove a spouse is unfaithful. Often, the answer is right in front of you and so obvious that you won’t have to go far to find it through a legal means.