It’s understandable that there’s some bitterness when a marriage doesn’t work out. This is especially true if one spouse wasn’t being honest with the other. But some divorces are more than just contentious. There are those extreme situations where a spouse is the victim of abuse, or one spouse needs to monitor every move the other spouse makes. For example, a spouse may monitor your emails, read you letters, and listen in while you’re on the phone. As invasive and rotten as these acts are, they can also make it difficult to communicate with your attorney. Your conversations with your lawyer must be free from interference so you can focus on your rights, your needs, your children, your safety, your finances, and your future.
How to communicate with your lawyer when your spouse invades your privacy
One solution is to meet at your lawyer’s office. The lawyer only represents you and will forbid the other spouse from being present. This solution does protect your interests, but you can’t run to your lawyer’s office every time you have a question or have to respond to information your lawyer needs.
Your lawyer can help in several ways:
- You can request temporary alimony so that you can move while the divorce is pending to a separate location free from interference.
- If your spouse has a lawyer, your attorney should inform your lawyer of these abuses. If your spouse’s lawyer doesn’t impress on your spouse the need to respect your privacy, your divorce lawyer can file a motion with the court ordering your spouse to respect your privacy.
- Your lawyer can inform the opposing lawyer and the court that you have a right to private electronic communications under The Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Stored Wire and Electronic Communications Act. If your spouse continues to listen in, your lawyer can seek to enforce this law.
If your or your child is a victim of abuse, you can petition for an order of protection. This will get your spouse out of the house, and leave him or her unable to contact you in any way – even via third-party, like asking their buddy to message you on Facebook or Twitter.
There are some things you can do, too, to protect your own privacy:
- You can use a local office supply store to fax and email your documentation. If you need a secure server, try your local library.
- You should regularly change your passwords on your Internet accounts.
- You can arrange to make phone calls from a safe location – such as the home of relative or friend – on the phone of that relative or friend.
- You can turn your GPS off when you drive so that your spouse cannot snoop that way, either.
At LaFevor & Slaughter, our Knoxville family lawyers understand that each divorce is different. While some divorces are resolved amicably, other divorces are very unfriendly because one spouse refuses to move forward. If you have any concerns or questions about any part of your divorce, our lawyers are ready with legal and practical solutions. Your right to communicate with us is absolute. To discuss your ability to communicate, how your spouse is driving you crazy, or any other concerns, call us at (865) 637-6258 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.
Patrick Slaughter is an experienced Knoxville attorney passionate about helping families resolve legal issues including divorce, family law matters and immigration. Patrick graduated from Lincoln Memorial University – Duncan School of Law, summa cum laude and is a published author. Patrick is a member of the Knoxville Bar Association as well as the Tennessee Bar Association. Contact Patrick Slaughter at (865) 637-6258 or by filling out a case evaluation below.