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Spying not worth the potential cost in a divorce

Pennsylvania couples going through divorce may be interested in a new trend presenting itself around the nation. Spying is becoming ever more popular due to an increase in low-cost, high-tech gadgetry. With an ability to tuck a tiny recording device into someone's cellphone or purse, divorce fodder is becoming even easier to find. Suspicious spouses abound, but the new trend in spying is affecting numerous people involved in an acrimonious divorce.

Normally when people think of spying, they think of movies or politics. However, with the quick and easy availability of domestic spying devices, all one needs is a quick Internet search for a gadget, and the spying world becomes the suspicious spouse's oyster.

These types of devices exist everywhere: teddy bears equipped with a camera or recorder, ink pens that double as tape recorders, button cameras or even a tiny GPS located underneath your car that can tell a suspicious spouse exactly where you are at any given time.

One man who was a victim of spying filed a lawsuit against his ex-wife, accusing her of violating federal wiretap laws. The woman allegedly recorded several conversations with his attorneys, therapists and even those between members of his family. The lawsuit is ongoing and neither side chose to comment, although the man hopes to resolve the case outside of the courts.

Experts state that proving whether or not a tracking device or recording is criminal depends on a variety of factors and circumstances. Many agree though, that spying tends to go too far and can make people do things they normally wouldn't consider. One person who was the victim of spying was awarded damages of $10,000. In addition, six other plaintiffs were awarded the same amount, and the man's ex-wife was slapped with $75,000 in lawyer's fees and other costs.

Pennsylvania couples going through divorce should be wary of any type of activity that could be considered spying. While many believe that people emotionally involved may not listen to reason, the easy availability of spying gadget makes opportunities to spy difficult to pass up. While it may not be against the law, it could certainly be considered an egregious invasion of privacy.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Spy gadgets infiltrate divorces as domestic snooping booms," Mike Tolson, April 29, 2012

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