Divorces are famous for bringing out the worst in people. Now, with rapid growth and innovation in technology, ex-spouses sometimes use these new products in ways that can hurt them in family court. In an attempt to gather evidence, people going through a divorce or considering one are using apps and programs to track each other and get recordings and other evidence to potentially use in court. However, many of these tactics are illegal, and even the ones that are not may hurt your case in family court. An experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney can help you with your case and make sure that you have safeguards in place so that your former spouse cannot gather any information without your knowledge. They can also help you stay within the law and refrain from doing anything that will damage your position.
What is Legal?
Divorce lawyers in Rhode Island have noticed that many of their clients are putting tracking devices in each other’s cars or using apps like the “find my iphone” app to keep tabs on each other. The ubiquity and relative inexpensiveness of these devices has made it much more common for divorcing partners to find out information about each other. Parents are also putting devices like cameras or location tracking on their kids when the children are with the other parent. While the separated individuals may think these tactics will give them evidence that will help them in court, that’s often not the case, and it’s easy to run afoul of the law.
In Rhode Island, it is legal to record someone as long as one of the parties consents and as long as there are no ill-intentioned or criminal purposes for making the recording. However, a law in 2016 makes it illegal to track a vehicle without consent of the owner. While the law was intended for victims of domestic violence, it has been used to prosecute people collecting information for divorce proceedings. Of course, it’s also illegal to alter communications like text messages or recordings to make it seem like someone said or did something that they did not do.
What Will a Family Court Consider?
Family court is very different from criminal court in terms of what the judge can consider when making a decision. For property division during a divorce, the court will look at all of the relevant factors to decide how to divide property and award maintenance (alimony) in an equitable fashion. Equitable does not always mean equal, and the court will look at the spouses’ ability to support themselves independently, the length of the marriage, their standard of living, the resources of each spouse, and any other legally procured evidence if the parties cannot come to a decision themselves. Things are even more complicated when children are involved because judges use the somewhat nebulous standard of “the best interest of the child” to decide how custody should be arranged. Thus, actions that show ill intent, such as cameras all over the house for spying (this actually happened!), may end up hurting your case more than any evidence gathered will help it.
Hire a Rhode Island Divorce Attorney to Help You!
If you are thinking about a divorce or have already separated, you should contact a skilled divorce attorney as soon as possible. They can help you gather evidence in ways that are legal and helpful while at the same time keeping you from running afoul of the law. A knowledgeable Rhode Island divorce attorney can also help you present your case to the judge in a persuasive way, which can be more complex than you may think. The attorneys at Bilodeau Capalbo, LLC, can help you craft a legal and effective strategy for court. Call (401) 300-4055 or use the form on this website to contact us today for a free consultation!