Home / Insights / Blog / Spying on Your Partner: Watch out Your Covert Actions Don’t Land You in Legal Hot Water

Spying on Your Partner: Watch out Your Covert Actions Don’t Land You in Legal Hot Water

Spying on Your Partner: Watch out Your Covert Actions Don’t Land You in Legal Hot Water

reading partners emails

Nearly a third (30%) of all married couples or those in a relationship in the UK have admitted to reading their partner’s phone texts, emails and other communication without their knowledge or authorisation, according to recent research commissioned by IBB Solicitors and conducted by international research firm Atomik. Secret undertakings rise in the Capital and East Midlands with nearly half of them admitting they had done this without permission or their partner knowing. Those aged 25-34 (40%) and 35-44 (44%) are most likely to have snooped on their partner’s messages while over-55s are the least likely (14%).

PLUS – Four in ten adults in the UK (married or in a relationship), have had a partner look through their messages or suspected that they have.

Whilst a fair number are either doing the spying or being spied on, Kate Ryan, a Family Law partner at IBB Solicitors warns of the potential legal trouble for snooping on a partner.

According to our research, nearly two thirds of UK adults (64%) currently in a relationship, are not aware that it is illegal to hack into their partner’s voicemail or their computer (Computer Misuse Act 1990) to obtain information without their consent. Yet when couples were asked if they would still hack into email correspondence or listen to phone messages, mindful of the legal implications, more than a third admitted they would carry on regardless.

Trust and openness are clearly essential for creating long lasting healthy and happy relationships. Yet couples are resorting to covert tactics in an effort to find out the truth, have their suspicions confirmed, and in some cases catch them out – rather than having a more honest approach by asking directly. Whilst in most instances couples are unlikely to take their partner to court if they find out about the ‘spying, ‘ remember they could have grounds for infringements of the right to privacy and maybe more inclined to do go down the legal path if the relationship is at a rocky stage or in the middle of an acrimonious separation.

Contact our divorce and family law experts today

If you would like to discuss any aspect of divorce and family law, or want to draw up a pre or post-nuptial agreement or cohabitation agreement, call our mediation, divorce and family dispute resolution solicitors in absolute confidence on 03456 381381. Alternatively, email us at familylaw@ibblaw.co.uk.