While Ohio is a no-fault state for divorce, there are some instances in which the outcome may be affected by evidence of a spouse committing certain acts or engaging in certain behavior. Matters involving property distribution, alimony, and child custody can all be affected, but it can be difficult to prove in court. In this situation, one common question asked to many attorneys is whether it is legal to spy on a spouse during a divorce, and the answer in Ohio is that it depends. You should never engage in spying activities without talking to a lawyer first, and the experienced divorce attorneys at Comunale Law in Dayton can help. Call or contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
Ohio Wiretapping Laws
Ohio is a one-party consent state when it comes to recording conversations. This means that only one party must know and consent to being recorded, so during a divorce one spouse can legally record their conversations with another spouse. However, it is a violation of state and federal wiretapping law if one spouse records the other spouse having a conversation with a third party. The exception to that rule is if the conversation is happening in public or someplace where there is no expectation of privacy so long as the equipment used is not recording a conversation that a spouse would otherwise not hear, such as using sensitive equipment to record a conversation from a hiding place across a restaurant or down the street.
Video surveillance is allowed in your own home, so if you and your spouse are still living together, anything caught on that surveillance is legal. However, it is not legal to set up video cameras and surveil a spouse if they have moved out of the home and into another residence. Video recording can be permissible in a public setting where there is no expectation of privacy, but you should speak with a lawyer first before engaging in any of this type of surveillance.
Hacking a spouse’s computer or other internet-connected device can result in state and federal criminal charges unless a spouse authorizes it by express or implied consent. The use of keystroke programs, spyware, and other software to spy on a spouse’s computer use can result in serious criminal charges. It is not recommended that a spouse try to gain access to another spouse’s email or private social media messages during a divorce. However, a spouse can screenshot and print anything sent directly to them by the other spouse, like threatening email messages, or posts made publicly on social media. To learn more, talk to our office today.
Talk to Comunale Law
Do you have questions about the extent that one spouse can spy on another spouse during an Ohio divorce? If so, the experienced divorce attorneys at Comunale Law in Dayton can help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your case.