If you're going through a rough divorce, you might feel tempted to snoop in order to gather the evidence that you'll need to strengthen your case. For example, you might want to prove that your spouse was unfaithful or that your spouse has been hiding assets from you; however, snooping can be considered computer fraud, computer and information theft or even cyber terrorism under federal law. As a result, you might find yourself facing felony charges. Here are 3 ways you can get the evidence you need without having to put yourself at risk.
Have an Accountant Audit All Bank Transactions
Don't go snooping through the bank statements. It's simply not worth your time, and you could find yourself in hot water if you get caught. If you believe that your spouse might be hiding some assets from you or if you believe that there are fraudulent transactions, speak to a divorce attorney and have them hire an accountant to audit all bank transactions.
Your spouse is legally required to provide you with the financial information that you need during the divorce. This includes paystub information, access to investment accounts and more. An accountant will be able to look for suspicious transactions to see whether your spouse is tucking cash away secretly.
Hire a Private Investigator
While all states offer some version of a no-fault divorce, proving that your spouse caused the divorce may be beneficial for you in some states. You might be able to request more alimony or the divorce proceedings may sway in your favor. If the divorce is caused by infidelity or other acts of betrayal, you might be tempted to bring it up in court – especially if it might have an influence on custody arrangements.
Instead of snooping through your spouse's mail or text messages, hire a private investigator for a more thorough investigation. Not only will the private investigator be able to gather concrete evidence, like photographs of the infidelity or evidence of financial betrayal, but he or she will also be able to act as a witness to those events. This will further strengthen your case.
Get Witness Testimony from Friends, Strangers or Even Relatives
If the cat is already out of the bag, then there's a good chance that other people will have already heard or seen the infidelity or the betrayal first-hand. If you don't want to spend money hiring a private investigator, you should consider asking anyone who knows about the reason why the marriage is failing to act as a witness. Ask a witness who has seen first-hand the evidence that you need. For example, he or she may have witnessed your spouse cheating or may have heard your spouse talk about hiding assets from you.
Building a strong case for your divorce can help ensure that you get what you deserve. While you might be tempted to snoop in order to gather the evidence you need, keep in mind that there may be consequences for the snooping. Instead, speak to a divorce attorney regarding how you can gather the evidence you need properly, so that the evidence cannot be thrown out in court or used against you.