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Divorce Counterintelligence: Protect Yourself from Spying Spouse

Are you getting divorced and think you’re spouse might be spying on you? You might be right. As a divorce lawyer in Chicago, I see this all the time. I often tell my clients how to protect themselves. Sometimes they listen, sometimes they don’t. You might want to follow these tips if you think that your spouse is spying on you.

Don’t use shared devices

You know that laptop that both of you use? Or that old desktop sitting in the living room? Is it convenient to use? I’ve got one word for you: DON’T.

Any person with minimal knowledge of computers can download software onto a computer that can track every website you see, every key you hit while visiting a certain website, and can even take webcam photos of you or your screen while you are using the computer.

If you use a shared computer, you are laying out the welcome mat for your spouse to spy on absolutely everything you do on that computer – including viewing all your communications with your lawyer. What a nightmare!

Get a burner phone

A “burner” phone is a phone that is, most commonly, a prepaid phone where your name doesn’t appear on any contract. For increase security, you wouldn’t pay for a burner phone or its connection using a credit card.

The issue is that sometimes people are in the habit of checking other people’s phones. Call logs, instant messages, that type of thing. Maybe even email.

If you block your spouse from your phone when you start to think about divorce, your spouse may determine that something weird is going on.

But if you get a burner phone, you can leave your legacy phone with the access as is, so your spouse can check it – and find nothing!

Long story short, it can be useful to get a burner phone instead of raising your spouse’s suspicions by blocking access to your legacy phone.

Get a burner phone app

Let’s say you don’t want to get a totally new phone. It can be a hassle to hide a different phone, right?

One option is to get a burner phone app – or any other app that can add a second line to your mobile phone. With such an app, you can get and place calls to and from another number with your existing mobile phone. In fact, if you are worried your spouse is going to check your phone, you can uninstall the app when you are not using it – only to reinstall it later.

Check for GPS trackers

One of my clients was married to a very stupid habitual liar. He said he need spousal maintenance (aka “alimony”) because he could not work.

What he didn’t know is that we put a GPS tracker on his car. We found out what he was up to. Let’s just say his activities weren’t the normal activities of a disabled person who was unable to work.

The flip side is that your spouse might be tracking you, and you don’t want that.

If I have a spouse that might have that problem, I recommend that they have their car swept for GPS trackers. There are all types of GPS trackers nowadays – some look like other things, some attached to a hidden spot with magnets, some have antennas. Some can be detecting with a detecting device. Whatever the case, it can be a good idea to have your car swept for GPS trackers.

Check your apps

Your spouse might put spyware on your phone or computer. One way to be sure that there isn’t spyware is to reformat your device and to reinstall the operating system.

This is pretty easy to do on a phone. One you do it, anything that was on there should be cleaned off.

Create noise

If you’re spouse is spying on your, you can feed your spouse misinformation. Misinformation is information that you purposefully put out there so someone spying on you can intercept it, and act on it (stupidly). For example, you could purposefully send an email out with the false statement that you are going out of town on a certain weekend, and instead, you might be able to catch your spouse doing something that is relevant to the divorce. Also, the more time your spouse wastes on collecting useful information, the less time he or she will have doing things that are useful and to your detriment.

Gather evidence

Some types of spying are illegal. For instance, if you have a computer that is not a shared computer, and your spouse puts spyware on it, that could be illegal. It can even be illegal to do so on a shared computer. If you discover that your spouse is secretly making audio tapes of your conversations, then your spouse will probably be guilty of eavesdropping (a crime).

In summary

If you are getting divorced, you should know that evidence matters. But you don’t want your spouse to get evidence on you, if you can help it. So that’s where divorce counterintelligence comes into play.

Not all divorces in Illinois have great opportunities for divorce counter-intelligence. But it can be a good idea to get an Illinois divorce lawyer familiar with these topics.

About the author: Contact Illinois family law attorney David Wolkowitz at 312-554-5433 or online. He is a family law and divorce attorney serving Chicago and the Counties of Cook, Champaign, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. Areas of practice include divorce, uncontested divorce, child custody, visitation, spousal maintenance, child support, and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act (the “UCCJEA”).