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How to bug your husband or wife and not get arrested.
Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian and ex wife Lisa Bonder Kerkorian (ever heard of them?) settled their child support case years back. It was an interestsing case that goes back nearly a decade. Kirk and his boys had tried to “wiretap” Lisa and one of those boys was a well respected attorney who was found guilty of wiretapping and ordered to prison as a result. The lesson? You can’t wiretap except in certain narrow circumstances, such as domestic violence and even then, consult a lawyer who knows about the wiretap laws before you do it. But then, I was thinking about legal ways to get the divorce dirt. The following is a list I put together haphazardly, so don’t do any of it till you confirm it’s legal with your lawyer. NOTE: This is not legal advice.
1. Put GPS on the car (but only if your name is on the title of the car)
2. Put nanny cams in the house (in case he brings the trollops home); I don’t think the law can stop you from putting videos in your own home, even if they are concealed.
3. Get a court order to put listening devices on the phone (if you suspect criminal wrong doing that might be interesting to the feds) so that you can hear any incriminating evidence you can use in the divorce as well.
4. Hire a licensed private detective. They have certain licenses to do stuff that regular lay people don’t (still, I don’t think they can wiretap as a general rule so don’t get caught up in a collusion or accessory situation. Be careful).
5. If he’s committing domestic violence against you? You can bug his phone and say you did so to prove the felony of domestic violence (normally you can’t bug them but if there is criminal behavior such as domestic violence this may be an exception to the general rule…otherwise wiretapping is illegal.)
6. Get them to leave incriminating Mel Gibsonesque messages on your answering machine and use that as evidence to slam them for domestic violence or get custody. (Answering machine messages are not wiretapping because they know they are being recorded.)
7. Can you wire your child’s teddy bear while daddy has visitation? I don’t think so. But maybe you can….no. Forget it. You can’t legally pull that one off….
8. If it’s your computer that the person uses, you can put spyware on that and plead that it’s your computer and that you have a right to put whatever you want on it. If it’s a “community” computer that the entire family uses? I don’t think you can put spyware on it legally.
9. Use a human bug. The Japanese do that. They hire people to seduce their spouses and then use that as evidence of adultery. Dirty? Yes. But your particular circumstances may justify the means.
10. Public cameras and their footage can be subpoenaed. Your spouse does not have a right to “privacy” when they are walking on the public streets. Well, if they do, it’s not as strong a right as in the privacy of their home.
You know what? Forget everything I just said. It’s dangerous to bug or spy on your spouse. You probably are better off just getting a divorce if you feel you have to do all of this nonsense in the first place.
Originally published October 11 2010