Perhaps one of the most devastating things a spouse could discover about his or her partner is that he or she is cheating. Obviously, even the thought that a spouse might be committing adultery is an emotional issue, which is best addressed by counselors and other mental health professionals, rather than attorneys. However, if you believe that your spouse is participating in an extramarital relationship, from a legal perspective, you must try to stay calm, as there are certain things you can do to strengthen your case for a fault-based divorce.
From a legal perspective, the biggest issue to consider is preserving (and, potentially, obtaining) any evidence which may corroborate that your spouse is engaging in an extramarital relationship. What follows is a list of potential avenues to ponder:
1. Phone Records: A cheating spouse’s phone records will often show an increased amount of calls to a certain number or numbers, and/or an increased amount of text messages. If you lawfully have physical access to your spouse’s phone records, you should print them out as far back as you are able to go. Additionally, if you lawfully have access to any text message content, you should replicate that as well.
2. Emails: A cheating spouse might engage in sexually explicit conversations with his or her paramour. If you lawfully have physical access to your spouse’s email account, you should print out any incriminating email exchanges.
3. Internet Search History: A cheating spouse may also search for potential paramours using the Internet. If you have lawful access to your spouse’s computer, you might consider reviewing his or her search history to locate any incriminating content.
4. Credit Account Charges: A cheating spouse may use his or her credit card to finance his or her extramarital relationship. If you lawfully have physical access to your spouse’s credit card statements, you should print them out as far back as you are able to go.
5. Private Investigator: If you feel as though your spouse is cheating, if all else fails, you might consider hiring a private investigator. Just make sure to obtain a referral from someone you trust (including your attorney), as not all private investigators are created equal.