WN Law PLLC

Spyware and GPS trackers used in some in divorce cases

After a separation or divorce, some people in Michigan could be the target of stalking by a former spouse. When the Justice Department did a study on stalking in 2012, it found that although 1.5 percent of the adult population reported experiencing stalking, that number went up to 3.3 percent for people who had been divorced or separated. Stalking may now be done by digital surveillance as people increasingly use GPS trackers and spyware to keep tabs on their ex-spouse's whereabouts and activities. Some attorneys say that clients can leave them criminally liable if they use evidence in the divorce gathered in an illegal way.

One woman believed her ex-husband used both of these. First, she noticed he always seemed to know when she went out of town and where she was. Although she initially suspected he had hired a private detective, she did not detect anyone following her. After a mechanic found a GPS tracker on her car that had been installed long after she left him, she went to the police. However, since her ex-husband was still listed as an owner of the car, installing the tracker was not illegal.

The woman also believed that spyware had been placed on her phone. She took it into a store to be checked, but the store replaced her phone, leaving her with no evidence.

A person who believes a spouse is using these techniques to track them during a divorce might want to discuss the situation and what actions should be taken with an attorney. Most people do not use spyware to track their spouses, but divorce is such a stressful time that some people may try to create issues during child custody negotiations or property division. Mediation may help some couples resolve their differences with a solution that is beneficial to both of them.

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