In a recent federal court decision, a judge found that a woman unlawfully used spyware against her estranged husband in an attempt to gather information against him. As a result of the judge's order, one which may have some effect on similar cases in Maryland, the judge ordered the woman to pay her husband $20,000 in damages for her unlawful acts. At the time in which the spying had occurred, the parties were going through a divorce proceeding.
The judge found that the woman's use of the spyware was a violation of wiretapping laws. The judge also determined that the woman had altered a prenuptial agreement. Both of these acts were found to be in an attempt for the woman to gain an advantage in the parties' divorce.
No comment was given by the woman. Also there has been no further report on whether the woman has been subject to any further court sanctions for her misconduct. The judge further stated further that the litigation involving the civil suit and his divorce between the couple had aired out many outstanding issues between them.
With the rapid advance in technology, spying on an estranged spouse has become much easier for individuals who wish to gather ammunition for their upcoming or pending divorce proceeding. Despite the relative ease of performing such an act, Maryland residents may gain from first seeking proper advice to determine whether such activity is in fact lawful. The right advice may help keep the focus on achieving a fair and equitable settlement without potentially running afoul of the law.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "Lawmaker's wife loses divorce ruling over spyware," July 26, 2012