A now-divorced couple have been charged for hacking into each other’s computer in 2012 while they were still married. The ex-husband (Leo Kah Woon) allegedly installed a “keylogger software” on his ex-wife’s laptop to retrieve emails and instant messages sent by her. He faces up to 3 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to S$10,000.
On the other hand, the ex-wife (Nellie Tan Li Koon) has been charged with stealing her ex-husband’s laptop and instructing a private investigator to retrieve data in the laptop. She faces up to 7 years of imprisonment for theft, and up to 2 years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of S$5000 for unauthorised access to the data in the laptop.
See: Selina Lum, “Doctor and ex-wife charged with hacking each other’s laptops”, The Straits Times, 19 August 2016
As a divorce lawyer in Singapore, I have encountered many clients who suspect that their spouses may be concealing records of hidden assets unknown to them. There are also clients who suspect their spouses of having affairs and want to access information on their spouses’ mobile devices to retrieve “evidence” against their spouses.
As their lawyer, it is my duty to inform them that if they were to obtain information through illegal means (like what happened in the case of Leo and Tan), there is a possibility that they may face criminal sanctions.
Full and frank disclosure
Under the law, parties going through divorce proceedings are expected to make full and frank disclosure about their finances (and matrimonial assets). If one party failed to do so, the Court has the power to draw an “adverse inference” against him/ her. This means that the guilty party will receive a lower percentage of what he/ she would have received if he/ she had made full disclosure.
What can I do?
If you suspect that your spouse has not made full disclosure about his/ her finances, you may wish to make a request for:
- Discovery: Request for relevant documents from your spouse to support your case.
- Interrogatory: Pose relevant questions to your spouse
Always do things the right way- consult your lawyer today.
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