Going through a divorce can be a highly-charged and emotional situation. Especially in fault or contested divorces the communication between spouses has likely deteriorated and efforts toward cooperation can already be tenuous. Getting the help of an experienced New York City divorce attorney can be beneficial especially if you are in a contentious divorce. Ryan Besinque a top-rated Manhattan divorce attorney has represented the rights of many individuals in both contested and uncontested divorce cases in New York. The Law Offices of Ryan Besinque is a Manhattan firm dedicated to providing quality legal counsel and representation in matters of divorce and family law. Call us today at (929) 251-4477 to schedule a free consultation. Opening your Spouses Mail During a New York Divorce When you are going through a difficult divorce its understandable to want to gain an edge especially if you feel like you have been taken advantage of by your spouse. Perhaps you have an inkling or a suspicion that your spouse has been doing something unsavory. The temptation to investigate your spouses mail or email to look for evidence of such wrongdoing can be strong and you may have a distinct impression that the information you get can be used in your favor during the divorce proceedings. However it is important to remember that just as you have legal rights that need to be protected your spouse is also afforded the same rights under the law. Invasive actions such as tampering with your spouses mail or logging into their email account without their knowledge can have serious consequences legal or otherwise. Manhattan divorce attorney Risk of Lawsuits Opening mail that is not directly or jointly addressed to you is considered punishable by federal law. Under 18 U.S. Code 1702 opening another persons mail with the intent to pry into their business is punishable with a fine or up to a five-year prison sentence. Without your spouses explicit consent you should not open communications such as their mail. Charges of Obstruction of Correspondence may be filed against you depending on how you intercepted and stored the mail. Gaining unauthorized access to your spouses email or other social media accounts and changing the password to lock them out of their account can also result in criminal charges. You may face felony charges under the Wiretap Act of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 or under the New York laws for Unauthorized use of a computer (N.Y. Penal Law 156.05) or other related cybercrime charges. Information Discovery and Illegal Evidence Spouses often intercept their partners mail to use as evidence to gain an advantage in divorce proceedings. However there is already a legal avenue that allows you access to this information. After your divorce claim has been filed with the court you and your Manhattan divorce attorney can initiate the discovery process. Discovery is the pre-trial official process of collecting information pertaining to your case. As part of the litigation process you can petition the court for access to information that may be helpful to your case. This may be helpful in getting your spouses financial information to determine whether you can petition for alimony learning about any hidden assets they may have that you are entitled to and obtaining a subpoena for their calls and text logs if necessary. Obtaining the legal documents for you to gain the information you desire may take some time and you might be tempted to take matters into your own hands. Still even if you do get incriminating information about your spouse through opening their mail the court may not admit evidence obtained illegally in your divorce case. It is important to seek a qualified attorneys advice and refrain from doing anything that can jeopardize your case. Type of Action Legal Consequences Details Opening someones mail Fine or up to a five-year prison sentence According to 18 U.S. Code 1702 opening another persons mail with the intent to pry into their business is punishable by law. Tampering with mail Charges of Obstruction of Correspondence Tampering with someones mail without their consent may result in charges of obstructing correspondence which can have legal consequences. Unauthorized email access Felony charges under Wiretap Act or cybercrime charges Gaining unauthorized access to your spouses email or social media accounts and changing passwords can lead to criminal charges. Overall Impact on the Tone of the Divorce Case The first few days and weeks after the decision to get a divorce can be the most crucial to setting the tone of the divorce. Having feelings of resentment towards your spouse and fear about the changes the divorce would bring to your life is understandable. However trying to get control over this uncertainty by invading your spouses privacy can further drive a wedge into your already troubled relationship. Divorce cases can take a long time to conclude despite the courts intervention in a contested divorce. There are also other aspects of divorce like child custody and visitation child support as well as co-parenting any child you might share that would benefit from your and your spouses cooperation. While you may be operating in the interest of protecting your and your childrens best interests it is still beneficial to look toward the bigger picture and avoid any actions that may put the possibility of a better friendlier outcome at risk. Is it Illegal to Open Someone Elses Mail The issue of whether it is legal to access someone elses email is a valid concern and in general the answer is yes it is illegal if you knowingly access an email not intended for you. Opening someone elses email without authorization can have severe legal consequences at the federal level. Accidentally stumbling upon an email meant for someone else is a common occurrence. Many people check their emails without much thought and it is possible to unintentionally access someone elses email. While this action itself may not be considered illegal what you do after realizing your mistake is crucial. According to federal law deliberately preventing an email from reaching its intended recipient is illegal. To rectify the situation it is recommended to promptly delete the email and inform the sender of the error. However purposefully accessing and opening an email that is not addressed to you constitutes unauthorized access. If you share a communal email account or have access to someone elses email without their consent accessing and opening their emails can lead to serious legal consequences. Unauthorized access to someones email may result in federal charges and a penalty of up to five years in prison. Getting the Help of a Top-Rated Manhattan Divorce Attorney Working with a New York divorce attorney who is knowledgeable about the law and can offer experienced and compassionate advice can make a huge difference in the result of your case. Ryan Besinque a skilled Manhattan divorce attorney may be able to walk you through the process of your divorce. Our qualified attorneys at the Law Office of Ryan Besinque understand how overwhelming divorce proceedings can be. We provide quality legal services and diligently work toward a resolution that serves our clients best interests. Contact us today at (929) 251 4477 to speak with an experienced Manhattan divorce attorney and to schedule a free consultation regarding your case. via The Law Office of Ryan Besinque PC https://www.besinquelaw.com/can-i-open-my-spouses-mail-during-divorce-in-new-york/