In our digital world, there are many things designed to let you spy on your spouse. In a divorce, it may be tempting to install some software on your computer that allows you to read your spouse’s e-mails or an app on their cellphone that lets you remotely read their text messages. It may seem fine, but should you do it? The answer is probably no.
Both federal and Texas law says that it’s illegal to intercept another person’s electronic communications – which includes e-mails, text messages, and other forms of messaging, without their permission. State and federal law also say that it’s illegal to access another person’s stored electronic communications, like their e-mail accounts, without consent. Worse, Texas law specifically says that you can go to jail if you illegally access another person’s e-mail without their permission if your purpose is to “obtain a benefit or to harm another,” which may be implied in your divorce case.
When something appears to be too good to be true, it often is. The new software is produced and marketed every day, aimed at people seeking to trap their spouses in an affair or some other bad act. But be very careful before you install these things on your spouse’s cell phone or computer. In trying to trap them, it may be you who takes the fall.