Couples going through separation and divorce have over the years confessed to me that they have snooped on their partner.
They have told me that they have followed their partner around or eavesdropped on their conversations. In extreme cases, they have hired private investigators to spy on their partners.
In recent years technology has provided couples with new ways to snoop on each other. Some partners are even checking their partner’s phone or Facebook status to see what their other half is up to.
One in three Australians (36 per cent) in committed relationships recently polled admitted they have snooped on their partners. Those who admitted spying were more likely to secretly read their partner’s text messages than to open their partner’s mail or to eavesdrop on their partner’s conversations.
The survey found the top five ways couples snoop on each other were:
- Checking on text messages
- Opening mail
- Checking on their Facebook account
- Checking email
I believe social media is increasingly becoming an issue as relationships breakdown.
What I am hearing about more and more as a family lawyer is that when people think something has changed in their relationship or something is not right they go straight to social media to investigate.
Because mobile phones and social media allow us to communicate around the clock with a range of people – everyone from family and friends to old school mates and work colleagues – couples are becoming more suspicious and some start snooping.
It’s important for separated couples to understand that they were 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 my experience, open communication between couples always trumps snooping.