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Hi, welcome to Just Answer. I will help you with your question.
If she accessed your account without authorisation, she would have committed an offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990.
Do I need to raise this against her petition?
Also, do I pursue via the Police or a Solicitor?
You can raise it, and the court does have a discretion to exclude evidence which has been improperly obtained. However, there is a tendency for the courts still to admit wrongfully obtained evidence.
However, where it does admit the evidence, it can impose severe costs penalties upon the person seeking to rely upon it.
And what would these penalties typically be?
Well, the court could order her to pay the complete cost of the court proceedings. That is the most severe penalty.
For the divorce proceedings?
Is it better to take out a separate claim after the divorce is complete?
Has there been any successful cases in the UK?
If it is a fully contested divorce, legal cost will incurred, and the court has a complete discretion as to who should pay those costs.
Any costs orders would have to be made in the proceedings to which they relate. You could not start a separate proceedings afterwards.
There are many costs decisions involving issues like this throughout the country all the time, so I'm sure it has been ordered at some point in the past. Cost decisions are very rarely recorded in law reports, and so it is impossible to tell you what the frequency of this kind of order actually is I'm afraid.
What I can say, however, is that Courts do look down on people obtaining evidence unfairly and unlawfully, although they do like to get to the truth and will admit such evidence in some cases.
OK, thanks. By suubmitting to the court now, will this help me when sorting the financial arrangements?
Probably not in any considerable fashion. The financial arrangements will come down to things such as dependents, needs of the parties, and so on really, rather than the way she accessed information in the process of divorce.
Does this answer your question this evening?
So in essence I make sure that the court knows she obtained the information illegally?
Yes, there is no harm in that at all.
OK, thanks Max
Thank you. Have a great evening!
Hi Whilst it is indeed an offense there is no action that the Police are likely to take as it will bee seen as a "domestic matter. With regard to costs I am afraid that the above is not correct within divorce proceedings. The easiest way to avoid costs is to make it clear that the only basis on which you will not defend the matter would be if she withdraws her claim for costs. This is a common agreement that is made and will save you considerable costs as well If you decide to defend on the basis that her "evidence" was obtained illegally then you will be in long drawn out legal proceedings which will be expensive If the Court does allow the evidence then from what you say the divorce will go ahead and the only part where you might benefit is not having to pay her legal costs - she certainly will not have to pay yours on the grounds that you should not have defended it - Judges tend to be robust about these things - so you will have wasted considerable sums of money for nothing - and the fact that you have caused such a waste of money could well count against you in the financial matters Claire