Invasion of Privacy in Texas Divorce and Custody Cases
When contemplating or going through a divorce, spouses are often tempted to gather potentially useful information on one another. But every person in Texas has a right to privacy, and there is no exception for spouses or co-parents. Unless you’re careful to follow the law, evidence gathering can lead you to invade the privacy of your soon-to-be ex. Doing this will not only make the divorce more contentious but may also give your ex-spouse a separate cause of action against you.
In our first two posts in this series, we looked at how spouses or co-parents trying to collect evidence for their divorce or custody case can inadvertently expose themselves to criminal and civil liability for wiretapping or violating the Stored Communications Act. Today, we’re taking a look at Texas state privacy laws that also affect divorce and custody cases.
Texas law recognizes several variations of an “invasion of privacy” claim, including intrusion upon seclusion and public disclosure of private facts. In each case, the person harmed must have had a reasonable expectation of privacy.
When a person intentionally intrudes on another’s private affairs and that intrusion is unreasonable, unjustified, or unwarranted and highly offensive, that’s called “intrusion upon seclusion.” Examples of this cause of action include hacking into a private computer, taking unauthorized videos and photos in a private place, or continual stalking.
Similarly, if a person publicizes information about another’s private life and a reasonable person would be highly offended by those matters, and the disclosure of these matters is not of legitimate public concern, a public disclosure of private facts claim exists.
Though spouses have lower reasonable expectations of privacy than strangers would, the right to privacy exists. Thus, when one partner secretly records the behavior of the other or obtains and discloses private and sensitive information about the other, they could be violating that person’s privacy. Common injuries resulting from an invasion of privacy include mental anguish and loss of earning capacity due to reputational damage.
This is why having an experienced, competent attorney to advise and represent you in your divorce or custody action is so important. You need to win your case without creating additional problems for yourself. Robert Tsai has the experience and qualifications you need. Click here to schedule a consultation or or call us today at 832-278-1995.