Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal reinforces what we should already know – that electronic data can last forever, and come back to haunt us. Cheating spouses should know that their information, including emails, text/picture messages, phone logs, or even GPS data is easy to track. As Mark Twain said it, “If you must be indiscrete, be discrete in your indiscretion.” But there are also important considerations for the spouse who feels they are being cheated on,
and some pitfalls to avoid.
New electronic spying services can provide an almost unbelievable amount of data via cell phones.
Every text, call, and current location can be recorded and stored on a secure website for the snooping spouse to review. Some of these services even offer clandestine recording via a secret message, turning any cell phone into an eavesdropping tool on the fly. Although companies provide this service (at a cost, sometimes as much as $100 per month) they are often highly illegal. Both state and federal law prohibit the unauthorized interception of electronic communication. In Arizona, this is punishable as a class 5 felony.
There is also a strong likelihood that the information from electronic snooping is inadmissible in a divorce or paternity proceeding (as irrelevant or illegally obtained evidence). Arizona is a no-fault state and thus marital misconduct, including
infidelity is almost always irrelevant. There are legal alternatives, such as hiring a private investigator or
using the subpoena power to request documents to obtain some of the same information. Experienced attorneys can
help guide you through this difficult time.
If you or someone you know is in need of family law advice, contact one of the attorneys at Rowley, Chapman & Barney, Ltd.