More people using inexpensive high-tech gadgets to spy on spouses

Over the last few years, the price of high-tech spyware gadgets has come way down. That’s enabled suspicious spouses who are getting a divorce to spy on their partners in ways that would have been hard to imagine 20 years ago.

For example, a primitive GPS system would have cost thousands of dollars a decade ago. Now, for less than $200, distrustful spouses can buy a tiny magnetized GPS gadget, which they can stick on their partners’ car and then track where they are going.

For less than $100, spouses can buy easy-to-install software that will copy their partners’ instant messages and email. Hidden cameras, tiny recording devices, and nannycams (repurposed to spy on a spouse) are all also affordable and readily available.

Some types of spousal spying don’t require any special equipment at all. If a spouse’s partner walks away from a computer or smartphone while still logged in, the spying spouse can simply pick up the device and read the stored emails.

The definition of what constitutes a reasonable expectation of privacy in a marriage is far from uniform among the states. However, those spouses who use these spying devices are still taking a huge risk. In fact, some people have been arrested and convicted of violating privacy laws. Spouses who use the information they obtain from spying to intimidate or harass their partners could also face stalking charges.

But the urge to spy is strong, especially among spouses who suspect their partners of cheating. Sadly, one marriage counselor recently told The Wall Street Journal “privacy does not exist in 2012.”

Stay tuned for updates from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

To learn more about dissolution of marriage, spousal support or child custody, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.


The Wall Street Journal, “A spy-gear arms race transforms modern divorce,” Steve Eder and Jennifer Valentino-Devries, Oct. 6, 2012