Surveillence of a spouse’s online activities is perfectly admissable in a divorce action in New York – it just depends on how you do it. It is the next big thing in the discovery process in divorce actions in New York, finding an expert who can go through the computer and find deleted files, check old emails, unearth where you have been on the web and otherwise find out all your dirty secrets.
In high net worth divorce cases, the computer can be either a friend or a foe. Spouses who can afford to hire experts to go through their spouse’s computers are often able to find out unpleasant truths about their spouse and the marriage, and as a result can sometimes get a better settlement than they normally might have.
Just ask Christie Brinkley’s husband Peter Cook. His dirty secrets were splashed all over the headlines as a result of a forensics investigation into his computer. He admitted to Barbara Walters in a televised interview that he did engage in some questionable activities online with another consenting adult. Christie said he paid $3000 for the pleasures. That kind of information might have affected the judge’s decision to give Christie full legal custody of those kids.
The computer is definitely not your friend – especially if this is a high net worth divorce and there are resources to hire experts to dig into your most private computer files.