Since the increased popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace in recent years, many people have the opportunity to reconnect with old friends, co-workers and lovers online. These types of sites also give users the ability to make plenty of new online friends. As a result, many spouses may spend a lot of time on computers – especially if a marriage is already rocky.
When a spouse spends an excessive amount of time online, it not only takes time away from family, but can also arouse suspicion of an affair. Even if no physical cheating occurs, many people become so wrapped up in online extramarital relationships that it can cause irreparable damage to marriages and lead to filing for divorce.
Some spouses don’t slip into online affairs by accident. There is no shortage of online dating sites, some even geared towards married people looking for no-strings-attached affairs. When a married person is conducting this kind of activity online, they often attempt to cover their tracks by deleting the Internet browser history after using the computer or password protecting the computer to keep out the prying eyes of a spouse.
While a spouse who is having an emotional or physical affair that began on the Internet, they may think that they have covered their digital tracks or become comfortable enough to leave telling clues for a spouse. Modern technology has made it easier than ever for spouses to engage in extramarital affairs, whether physically or of the heart, but digital footprints also make it easier to be caught.
Internet investigation services have sprung up to help scorned spouses get evidence of infidelity. Trained investigators can use an e-mail address to find out if a spouse has registered at an online dating Web site or other information to attempt to track a cheater online.
Spouses who wish to do investigations must be cautious not to violate privacy laws when looking for answers. Logging into someone else’s e-mail account without permission can be a serious crime, and great care must be taken not to break the law while digging for dirt on a suspicious spouse to use as evidence in a divorce case.
If you think your spouse is cheating online and are considering looking into it, it’s advisable to speak with a divorce lawyer about what you legally can and cannot do to get proof of the affair. You don’t want to break the law, and some evidence you might find – especially if it was illegally obtained – would not likely be admissible in your divorce case.