Suspicious spouses increasingly spying on under-the-covers acts

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It can seem like a battle of spies: James Bond vs. Evelyn Salt, perhaps. But the spying done in divorce cases and child custody battles is typically by the spouses themselves, rather than sleuths with exotic accents and designer clothes, according to media reports.

Because of the proliferation of affordable technological advances, many suspicious St. Louis spouses have taken it upon themselves to snoop on undercover activities by their partner, or look for evidence that the ex or soon-to-be ex is not a fit parent deserving of custody.

All it takes to find and buy the easily hidden listening devices and tiny video cameras is a trip to the internet, where the electronic gadgets are plentiful and cheap — at least when compared to the prices of private investigators.

Pens that double as recording devices capable of capturing hours of potentially damaging audio; software that records all computer activity; cameras hidden on coats, in stuffed animals, and of course, flower pots; all are a part of the arsenal of spying gear readily available to spouses who want to keep tabs on possibly damaging words and actions.

“People sometimes they get so blinded in these custody and divorce cases that they absolutely lose their minds,” said one family law attorney who filed legal action against a woman who had put a recording device in her four-year-old daughter’s teddy bear.

The woman in that case wound up paying about $75,000 to a handful of plaintiffs who had been spied on in addition to her husband.

One of the many problems with the spying is that the information obtained is often not usable in court, and it can wind up hurting the spying spouse much more than helping.

Source: Houston Chronicle, “Spy gadgets infiltrate divorces as domestic snooping booms,” April 29, 2012