By Laura Harman
A law firm specializing in family law has revealed that as many as one in five people are resorting to monitoring equipment in order to spy on their spouse during divorce proceedings.
Maguire Family Law revealed to the Independent that the use of surveillance evidence is cropping up more frequently in divorce proceedings.
James Maguire, who is managing director of the law firm, said that more frequently, it's men who record their partners secretly, rather than women, “I would often see that a man uses covert recordings to ‘prove’ something, like an affair, he is the wronged party or it is simply controlling and invasive.”
However, he did reveal that some of his female clients also used this equipment, but for a completely different reason.
“Women do record—sometimes for the same reasons—but the general thrust is to actually protect themselves, i.e. get evidence of violent or abusive behaviour,” he said.
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James warned that regardless of the intent, recording your partner rarely has positive results. “For the person who is feeling the need to record their partner, it can make fears or anxiety worse. If you look for something, you will find it."
“And then for the person who is being recorded, that sometimes can be a real shock to the system. Maybe their trust was at a reasonable level and it gets blown apart. This leads to more animosity. For both parties, the outcome is always negative.”
James also revealed that many men who use these devices seem intent on discovering a secret affair, whether there is one or not. “It seems to be a default position in some but not all men therefore that there must be an affair.”
He then described some of the numerous surveillance hardware that he has witnessed, “Spouses use tracking devices, dash cams, and are putting spying software on mobile phones. Some are quite sophisticated.”
Another lawyer at the firm confirmed that this surveillance tactic is nothing new and that they had seen similar issues crop up because of secret recordings in the last few decades.
“Many examples over three decades of husbands secretly recording what happens in the bedroom with their wife and then using it to blackmail them. Back then it was VHS or camcorders, but nowadays it’s much easier.”
Although this may be a popular tactic in divorce proceedings it is worth noting that secret surveillance opens another complicated legal situation, as it is often a breach of privacy, and covert recordings are usually not admissible in court.
Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty and fashion news, and her favourite stories to cover as anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.
Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found baking, hiking with her dog, shopping, and practicing yoga.
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