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As I was taking an extended break over Christmas and New Year I received a call on Friday from a journalist keen to hear my thoughts on spying in divorce cases. The article appeared in this week’s Sunday Times examining a rise in the use the latest electronic devices investigating infidelity.

I’ve warned on this blog before about the dangers of spying on partners – and also that it usually remains ineffective in the courts and is potentially very dangerous because it could have criminal implications. I’ve copied in below my comments used in the article.

“I would always advise my clients thinking about using underhand ways not to do it. It almost always rebounds and you could end up liable to be sued yourself. Judges don’t like this kind of evidence and often it doesn’t work.

“Emotions run high during divorce proceedings and sometimes people who would never normally dream of employing such methods wonder if they should resort to using them. If a client produced evidence that had been obtained in an underhand way, even if it was damning, you’d probably find that the jury would think badly of the person who went to these lengths.

“I heard of a case where a wife got an agent to download the contents of her husband’s computer. Her husband ended up successfully suing her and her lawyers for interception of data. You expose yourself to far greater risks than the outcome could justify – it’s not worth it.”

The founder of Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known family law solicitors and divorce lawyers. She retired from Stowe Family Law in 2017.

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