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Family Law in Canberra – Spies like us: are we a nation of stalkers?

By June 29, 2015No Comments

There are reports of new data that suggest that up to 36 percent of Australians in committed couples say they spy on their partners. Large Australian law firm Slater & Gordon polled 2008 Australians in married and de facto relationships and found more women admit to spying on their partner. Age also seems to be a factor, according to their survey, with younger people being more prone to suspicion.

The report reveals that the top five ways Australians admitted snooping on their partners were:

  • checking out mobile phone text messages
  • opening ‘snail’ mail
  • checking Facebook account of partner
  • eavesdropping on phone or other conversations
  • checking partner’s email accounts.

Experts are quoted as saying:

“It’s important for separated couples to understand that they (are) not required to build a case against their partner. While snooping may lead to the discovery that your partner has been unfaithful or has hidden something else from you, under Australia’s no-fault divorce laws such evidence is not required for the Family Court to grant a divorce.”

In our experience also, many judges take a very dim view of evidence sourced from snooping, quite apart from the fact that certain such behaviours could give rise to charges being laid against the snooper for unlawful conduct.

However, as we have mentioned in the past on our blog (see, for example), it’s also important to really watch what we say on social media, as such material is often used by vengeful exes–and taken into account as evidence–in divorce courts these days. Once your relationship turns sour, the best advice you can often take is to consider a judge reading every single text, email or Facebook post you want to write. Would you really want your scribblings to be annexed to an affidavit relied upon in court?

Need assistance with a family law matter or are unsure of how to proceed? Our friendly lawyers Cristina Huesch, Sharla Stevens and Angela Li have a network of counselling and therapeutic referrers for when you want to ‘blow off steam’ about your relationship in a safe environment, as well as providing practical, sensible and cost-effective legal advice. Feel free to contact us here at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400 any time for personalised advice.

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