Nowadays, cheating is no longer a new thing for both those who are married. When you unfortunately find out that your partner has cheated on you and intend to file a divorce, is it a criminal offence to collect evidence of cheating like looking at your cell phone or checking your computer?
Common Evidence Collection Methods:
- Checking the phone: Mobile phone following is a behavior that almost everyone will do in today’s society. All the movements of people, what information they have browsed, who they have communicated with, where they have been, etc. are recorded in the phone. Therefore, many people will also look at their partner’s cell phone to see records of cheating conversations, web browsing, multimedia files including cheating photos, video and audio, and cell phone location.
- Surreptitious recording and audio recording: Recording and archiving of infidelity conversations without the partner’s knowledge is also one of the most common ways to collect evidence. The evidence may also be presented in court later and become a strong evidence.
- Stalking: Find private detectives to assist in cheating to collect evidence and use a third party to follow the target person so as to greatly reduce the target person’s suspicion.
Hong Kong Legislation on Evidence Collection Methods:
In cases of cheating or adultery, it is absolutely necessary for the parties to provide various types of evidence to prove the occurrence of infidelity or adultery.
The court will take into account the need to prove infidelity or adultery. The fact that it would be very difficult to prove the existence of infidelity or adultery if evidence were not collected in this way. Therefore, the court will look at the degree of difficulty in obtaining evidence and the degree of privacy of the person whose evidence is being collected to determine what is competent.
In civil cases, the methods of evidence collection are discretionary unless the case has reached a violent, criminal stage. If the court is satisfied that the probative value of the evidence is high, it will almost certainly recognize it as direct evidence.
There have been cases in civil judgments where the contents of an email address have been read and obtained without the knowledge of the spouse, but the dereliction evidence is still admissible if it is of high probative value.
Advantages to be gained from affair evidence collection/cheating investigation:
With strong evidence of an affair, you may have a better chance of:
1. the right to choose to divorce or not to divorce.
2. ask the judge to determine the distribution of the community property if the divorce is from cheating.
3. you can choose who will be your children’s guardian if you cheat and divorce
4. requesting spouse to pay alimony and children’s living or educational expenses
5. Request for “moral consolation” from spouse or third party