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How to get proof he is cheating without breaking the law.

Tracking or tapping a cell phone might sound like a pretty ideal way to catch someone in the act of cheating, or at least to get evidence of it. In fact, there’s a huge number of services of varying degrees of usefulness that claim to be able to let you do this, often with some kind of app or a few quick changes to a phone’s settings.

It all seems so easy – just pocket your spouse’s cell phone while they’re not looking, install an app or change a setting, and away you go. Unfortunately, it’s more complicated than that. Here’s why you’ll get in trouble, and what you should do to get evidence of infidelity instead.

Why You’ll Get into Trouble:

It is illegal to access someone’s computer (this includes smartphones) without authorization, according to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act neither private investigators, law enforcement, nor you can legally gain access to someone’s cell phone to install some kind of tracking device or app – unless of course, you happen to own the phone, or have permission to track it.

catch partner cheating
It is illegal to access someone’s computer (this includes smartphones) without authorization. Image via iStock.

So what happens if you ignore this? If you decide to track your spouse’s phone using either major phone carrier options, find-my-phone type settings, or a spy app, you’re going to encounter some problems. For starters, you can kiss goodbye any hope of using the evidence you collect in a legal setting. This information will be inadmissible in court and essentially useless to you.

There’s also a good chance that you’ll end up alerting your spouse to your attempts to put them under surveillance in the process of installing one of these apps, making it much harder to catch them in the future.

Unfortunately, that’s not the worst of it either. Along with wasting your time collecting useless evidence, you’ll also be wading into a world of legal hurt. Illegally access your spouse’s phone, and you’ll open yourself up to prosecution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and potential counter-suits from your spouse. Ouch.

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“If the government is doing it, why can’t I?” is a common approach people have when it comes to digital surveillance. Of course, technology is up to the job - but “borrowing” your spouse’s phone to install an app or change a setting breaks the law, and puts you and any evidence you collect at risk.


How to Get the Evidence of Cheating Without Breaking the Law.

There are only two ways to avoid legal trouble when it comes to surveillance and spouses:

  1. Own your spouse’s phone, or have permission to access and install spyware on it.
  2. Use an investigator to obtain proof of infidelity in a safe, legal manner.

If you do happen to own the phone or have permission to install tracking software on it, there are a few ways you can track it. If, like most people, you don’t own your spouse’s cell phone or they didn’t give you express permission to let you track it (and I don’t think anyone’s quite that convincing), then read on.

By hiring a licensed private investigator you can legally have someone followed. Image via iStock.

To obtain evidence of infidelity, you’ll need to hire a professional private investigator to track your spouse. This is the only legal, safe, court-admissible way that protects your safety and sanity while getting you results quickly and discreetly.

Why is this? Well, by hiring a licensed private investigator you can legally have someone followed. This means you can get all sorts of evidence very quickly (and even relatively inexpensively, if you have plenty of information to get your private investigator started). A private investigator can get you photos, as well as the date, time, and place of any interactions, as well as being able to back up their evidence by testifying in court.

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Moreover, a private investigator can do a lot of background work without even having to leave their desk, making them much more cost efficient than you might think. Databases available only to law enforcement and licensed investigators can track a car remotely nationwide with just a few keystrokes - and yes, this evidence is legal and often admissible too. None of these things will be achieved by the illegal installation of a spy app

Technology is tempting, I know. A number of apps, sites, and services that promise incredible results if you can just get a hold of your spouse’s phone is mind boggling (and pretty disturbing too). If you really want court-admissible information, then you need a professional investigator. It’s as simple as that.

This post by Elliot Rysenbry originally appeared on Divorced Moms and was republished here with full permission.