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Is it Legal to Track Your Spouse Using Spy Apps?

In the State of Indiana, it is mostly illegal to use spy apps and GPS trackers to track the whereabouts of your spouse. These considerations are related to illegal searches and seizures and the expectation of privacy. In other words, it gets complicated quickly. 

The general rule of thumb is that if your spouse does not know that you are accessing their private messages or tracking their whereabouts, the evidence you collect will not be usable during your divorce filings. Further, you can be charged with a crime for illegally wiretapping your spouse without their knowledge or consent. So, the best case scenario for anyone who tracks their spouse is that the information they glean through illegal means will not be available to them when it comes time to make their arguments. The judge will toss any allegations related to illegal wiretapping and probably use the information you provide against you. Your attorney will advise you not to use any evidence acquired by illegal means as it can hurt your case and your reputation with the court. 

Law Enforcement Can Wiretap Phones and Track Citizens

Law enforcement can legally wiretap phones and track individuals using GPS, but the rules are strict, and they must obtain a probable cause affidavit and get a search warrant authorized by a judge. Law enforcement officers cannot unilaterally decide to tap someone’s phone without having a judge oversee the process. 

If you suspect your husband or wife is abusing the children or otherwise placing them in danger, then taking the matter to law enforcement first is preferable to taking the law into your own hands. 

What are You Allowed to Do?

You are allowed to place tracking apps and GPS trackers on your own devices. Rarely will this help a spouse with a phone, but cars work a little bit differently. If the car belongs to you or is a family car, then the spouse cannot claim they have an expectation of privacy. So, in some cases, placing a GPS tracker on a vehicle is not illegal per se. It is, however, likely to raise eyebrows and there will probably be a hearing as to whether or not evidence acquired from GPS tracking is admissible in court. 

While there are several apps that are marketed toward suspicious lovers to track their love interest’s whereabouts, it would not be legal to install such a device on their phone without their consent or knowledge. However, if your spouse leaves their email up on a computer in a common space where they do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy, then you may be able to use that information in court. The law generally prevents interception of private communications or “hacking” of electronic devices. In both cases, there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. A computer that everyone in the household has access to does not qualify under those terms.

Talk to an Indiana Divorce Attorney Today

Convinced your spouse is cheating? Let your lawyer do the heavy lifting. Call Chris Arrington today to schedule an appointment and we can discuss your options immediately. 

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