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Can I use evidence of wrongdoing by my spouse in a Georgia divorce?

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Vic B. Hill - Family Law - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Vic B. Hill

Located in Marietta, GAHill Macdonald, LLC

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Evidence of adulterous behavior, hiding assets or other wrongdoing by a spouse can be used in a Georgia divorce as long as it is obtained legally. If a person invades a spouse’s reasonable expectation of privacy to obtain evidence, it will not be admissible in court. 

Many Georgia residents wonder when evidence of wrongdoing matters in divorce. State law stipulates that proof of adultery by a spouse as the cause for the breakdown of a marriage will make that spouse ineligible to receive alimony. 

Wrongdoing also may come into play in the division of marital property. If one spouse managed the household’s finances, that person may attempt to hide some assets in order to keep them out of the division of marital property. Here again, it is important to obtain evidence of hidden assets in a legal manner. For example, a person who opens up mail addressed to their spouse because it is from a financial institution that is unfamiliar could be charged with mail fraud. 

Work With A Knowledgeable Lawyer 

It is always wise to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney when attempting to obtain evidence of wrongdoing on the part of a spouse for divorce. Your lawyer will know what evidence is useful and the proper means of gaining that evidence to stay within the boundaries of the law. 

Do-it-yourselfers can get themselves in legal trouble quickly, particularly with the availability of affordable and easy-to-use electronic surveillance equipment. Discreet cameras, recording devices, computer spyware and other tools may cause more trouble for the spouse collecting evidence than the one allegedly committing wrongdoing. Hacking into a spouse’s computer in search of evidence could lead to criminal charges against you. The proper way to pursue useful evidence in a divorce is often through a subpoena. 

If you suspect records on your spouse’s computer, voicemails on a phone, or other information in his or her possession would be valuable to your case, your attorney may file a spoliation letter, which orders the party to not delete, destroy or alter any records that are germain to the case. 

Working closely with a knowledgeable Georgia family law attorney will help ensure that you recover evidence that will benefit your divorce case in a legal fashion.

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