Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
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Digital spyware -- the cheap PIs in modern divorce

With the easy access of spyware of various kinds, ending marriages in Illinois and other states are forever changed. A scorned spouse can gather evidence of a soon-to-be ex's every movement, conversation and online activity. Electronic devices costing next-to-nothing are freely available for installation on phones, computers and in vehicles, and they are reportedly utilized by many people in the throes of divorce.

Reportedly, apps can be obtained at insignificant monthly subscription fees and installed onto devices within minutes. This allows one spouse to monitor all the messages received or sent from an ex's phone, as well as searches done on the Web and typed keystrokes -- such as those used to log into bank accounts. Tracking devices that operate on battery power can be attached to vehicles to track any traveling done by the other spouse.

The laws related to the legality of using digital tracking devices are confusing and unclear at this stage. While parents are free to use spyware on their children's mobile phones or computers to keep track of their children's movements and online activities, doing the same with an ex-spouse's devices may not be legal. In some cases that have gone to court, putting tracking devices on jointly owned vehicles was found to be legitimate.

Until these issues are properly dealt with by lawmakers, questions will likely be difficult to answer. Illinois residents who find their every movement and text message monitored may benefit from a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney. A lawyer can assess the circumstances causing concern and suggest the most appropriate way to deal with the issues.

Source:, "I Know Where You've Been: Digital Spying And Divorce In The Smartphone Age", Aarti Shahani, Lauren Silverman, Jan. 4, 2018

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Courtney ∙ Clark Law, P.C.
104 South Charles Street
Belleville, IL 62220

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