I Think my Spouse is Cheating on me! Can I spy on them?

Some forms of spying are legal, and some are not? Are you willing to risk jail to catch them in the act?


So you think your hubby is stepping out on you? Wife getting a little something on the side? If that’s the case, then you have valid reasons for being concerned. But obviously, you want to be sure before you confront them. Nothing could be worse than making a terrible accusation, and then having your marriage blow up in your face because of a misunderstanding. And how do you make sure? Spying on them, right? Well, that depends…..


Did you know, some spying techniques are actually illegal!


It seems so straightforward. You sneak out after them with a camera when they’re “out for a drink with some people from work“. Or get up at 3am and sneak downstairs to read their texts while they’re asleep. Or maybe you skim through their emails while they’re at work. Perhaps you even buy a little tracer to tuck under the seat of their car so you’ll know exactly where they’ve been. Simple, right? Except for the fact that not all of those options are legal!


In Michigan, legislation is very clear about how much a person can invade another person’s privacy, even if that person is your spouse. So no, you can’t just use the “whatever works” approach when trying to figure out if the love of your life is a rotten, unfaithful dirtbag. Not unless you don’t mind a criminal record. (Yes, that’s right – some spying techniques can actually land you in serious trouble with the law!). So what can you do? Let’s unpack that.


What spying methods are legal in Michigan?


You can:


  • Follow someone in person to see where they go and who they meet,
  • Photograph someone interacting with other people, (as long as you’re not harassing them in the process!)
  • Put a tracking device into a vehicle that’s registered in YOUR name. (If the vehicle is registered in your spouse’s name you can’t do it!)


You can’t:


  • Hide a recording device in the car your spouse drives, to listen to conversations they have in the vehicle
  • Download a GPS tracker onto their phone to see where they’re going
  • Read their private texts, emails, or any other other correspondence, whether it’s digital or good old pen and paper
  • Install tracking or spy software on any of their mobile electronic devices (phone, tablet, laptop)


What happens if you do it anyway?


Believe it or not, you can get into a lot of trouble. If you and your spouse get into a big argument when you present your evidence of their unfaithfulness, they would be within their rights to report you to the police if the evidence was illegally gained. And even if they don’t do it immediately, if the resentment between you two gets worse as the divorce progresses, their lawyer might recommend it to help them get a better settlement agreement. (And it’s hard to argue in favor of full custody when you’re sitting in a jail cell!)


Get help from a skilled divorce attorney first!

If you think your spouse is cheating, and you’re wondering about what’s next, come in and talk to one of our experienced family law attorneys. We can explain the divorce process so you know what to expect, and also make sure that you understand the law when it comes t o spying on a cheating spouse! Call 866 766 5245 today, and have your questions answered by a professional divorce attorney who can help you navigate these tricky waters, and avoid unfortunate mistakes.