It can be tempting for a spouse to monitor the movements of the other, especially during divorce or searching for suspected infidelity. Cell phones can easily be tracked without the other spouses’ knowledge, and GPS devices the size of a coin can be hidden in vehicles without being detected. Furthermore, accessing a spouse’s emails can show what they have been up to, not just where. However, tracking or spying on a spouse in such a manner is not necessarily legal in Illinois, and by doing so and getting caught, it can have a profoundly negative effect on your divorce be creating further distrust, anger, and feelings of betrayal. GPS tracking and digital spying will most likely result in a contested divorce, as the spied-upon spouse will feel they have less reason to compromise.
Electronic GPS Tracking Can Be Illegal in Illinois
Under 720 ILCS 5/21-2.5, it is a Class A misdemeanor to place a GPS device on a person or their car, without their consent, in order to track their location. However, it becomes more complicated when the vehicle is owned jointly in a marriage. While it may not be illegal, or at least a punishable offense, for one spouse to secretly track the other, it can certainly have a negative impact on divorce decisions like child custody if it reveals the poor character of a parent.
Tampering with Computers, Such as Reading Your Spouse’s Emails
Another way that spouses keep tabs on another during divorce is by secretly accessing the other’s phone or laptop to read emails. This is also unlawful in Illinois under 720 ILCS 5/17-51. While criminal charges may never be filed, reading the emails and private messages of your spouse can:...