Spying on an Unfaithful Spouse: Ethical versus Legal Dilemmas

Woman spying
There are legal issues you should consider before deciding to spy on a cheater!


For many people, spying on their spouse when they suspect unfaithfulness, often raises ethical questions. However, while ethics are certainly something that needs to be considered when deciding to spy on someone, there are also legal factors that need to be taken into consideration. Especially when you realize that violating ethics might make you feel bad, but violating laws can result in jail time and fines.


Realistically, we can’t really tell you whether or not spying on a cheating (or even a potentially cheating) spouse is ethical. But we can give you some advice about the legalities of spying in Michigan, which may help you make more well-thought out choices that you won’t regret later. In addition, we would like to point out some ethical considerations for you to think out. The final choice, however, lies with you.


Is it ethical to spy on a cheating spouse?


Well, that depends. Some would say that once a spouse is unfaithful, their claim to privacy and trust are no longer considerations. But others would point out the risk involved in spying on your marital partner, when you don’t actually know that they’ve done something to deserve your suspicions.


Trust is a critical stone in the foundation of any successful relationship. However, this goes both ways, so if your spouse is already cheating on you and you are certain of it, then they can hardly claim that you have violated their trust by spying on them.


For those who suspect, but aren’t sure of, their spouse’s infidelity, you need to know that by spying you run the risk of being caught. If your spouse really was working late on that big project and not romancing their secretary, and they catch you watching them through binoculars from across the street, you could be in trouble. Your mistruct may do more damage to your marriage than the affair they weren’t having after all.


Is it legal to spy on a cheating spouse?


Again, there isn’t a clear yes or no answer to this question in general. But once you get into the specifics of spying and the methods employed, the law becomes very cut and dried. In Michigan, legislation is very clear about how much a person can invade another person’s privacy, even if that person is your spouse.


While you may follow someone in person, and photograph them interacting with other people, that is about the limit. Buying a small recording device to hide under the seat of your spouse’s car, or downloading a GPS “tracker” app onto their phone can get you into a world of trouble.


State law allows you to put a tracking device into a vehicle that is in your name. If the car your spouse drives is registered to them, however, the law forbids you from tracing them. Additionally, the use of spy software to track a person’s whereabouts and read their private correspondence can result in criminal charges.


We can’t tell you what is right and wrong when it comes to ethics, but we can be of assistance if you are hoping to check up on an errant partner without breaking the law. So if you have questions about your partner’s fidelity, and you aren’t sure what options are legally available to you, come in and talk to us.


If you are in the difficult position of being the faithful spouse whose marital partner has violated your trust, you are going to need an experienced divorce attorney who will ensure that you are properly represented during your future divorce. Contact the Kronzek Firm today to discuss your options with one of our experienced and understanding family law attorneys. We are here to help.