I have long suspected my wife of infidelity, which was confirmed when I was able to gain access to her email account containing sexual messages with other men.
What is the appropriate way to use these emails in order to reveal my wife's affairs and use them to my advantage in our divorce case?
Since I am only licensed to practice law in Wisconsin, I can only provide you with general divorce help for men to your divorce laws question.
Some states are considered "no-fault" jurisdictions, which means the court does not consider the parties' marital misconduct in their divorce or legal separation. Issues like child custody, property division, and child support are not affected by cheating, abandonment, or other marital problems.
The law is different in other states, though, where marital fault does affect certain aspects of a divorce case.
In some states, the court will consider several factors when setting an alimony obligation, including marital misconduct that is generally defined as illicit sexual behavior including intercourse with a non-spouse individual.
In these states, if the spouse who would have received alimony is found to have cheated on the spouse who would have paid support, the court may deny alimony.
If the spouse who would have paid alimony is found to have cheated, the court may craft any alimony award it deems equitable.
Legal Advice:Why Pursue A Fault-Based Divorce
In your situation, spying on your wife's emails may affect several different parts of your case. If you find evidence of marital misconduct, and that evidence is admissible in court, the documentation could significantly affect the alimony award in your case.
Conversely, if your wife discovers your conduct, you could adversely impact your mediation or future negotiations regarding child custody, property division, and support because she will be angry and no longer trust you.
Outside of the family law action, you also need to be extremely careful about how you are accessing this information. Civilly, your conduct could constitute an invasion of privacy. Criminally, you could be guilty of electronic hacking if the passwords were not obtained legally.
Divorce Tips:What Surveillance Activity Is Allowed?
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.