If We Are Separated Or Divorced, Can I Open My Spouse’s Mail?

If you open mail addressed only to your spouse or to your ex-spouse, your actions could have serious consequences.  Under the law, tampering with, hiding or opening mail addressed to someone else, even if to your spouse or ex-spouse, is a Federal crime.  

There are two exceptions.  You may open mail addressed to your spouse or ex-spouse when: 

  • You are given explicit authority by your spouse or ex-spouse; or
  • The letter or mail is also addressed to you.

Even if you do not face criminal charges or are not prosecuted, your spouse or ex-spouse could still start a civil suit which could lead to monetary damages.

In addition to being a crime or opening yourself to a civil suit, if a court finds out that you have been opening the mail of your spouse or ex-spouse, this could have serious consequences on the divorce.

Therefore, if you are in the process of getting a divorce, or you are already divorced, you should never open your spouse’s or your ex-spouse’s mail.

If you are seeking a divorce, or have been served with divorce papers, please contact David Badanes.  David Badanes has offices in Suffolk County and Nassau County. To make an appointment or to learn more, contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. today at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit us on Facebook to get important legal news, tips and articles: www.facebook.com/BadanesLawOffice.  

By David P. Badanes, Esq. and Hayley Hayden

Google Maps and Your Divorce

You probably have used Google Maps or some other Internet Mapping Program to help you find an address or to give you directions. However, until recently, a New York Court did not have to automatically allow you to introduce into evidence Google Maps or any other Internet Mapping Program.

However, as of December 28, 2018, a New York Court can take judicial notice, subject to a rebuttable presumption, that Google Maps etc. is valid and can be entered into evidence.

Why is this important? and What does it mean?

In a divorce, sometimes the distance between the parties’ residence can be important, especially when it comes to child custody cases. If one parent lives far away from the child, then this can be an issue as it pertains to custody and parenting time. To establish distance or directions, your attorney may have to use Google Maps.

Prior to the new law, if someone wanted to use Google Maps etc., they had to prove to the Court that it was a valid map. This would take time and, in some instances the Court would reject the Google Map.

Now, the Court can take judicial notice, this means that the Judge should allow the Google Maps etc. to be admitted into evidence. There is a safeguard, as the other side can still object to the Google Map, but, that side has the burden of proof to show that the Google Map is invalid or does not fairly and accurately portray what is being offered to prove.

There are always changes in the law, David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. keeps up with these changes and makes sure that they are used to help their clients. Please like us on Facebook to get important legal news, tips and articles: www.facebook.com/BadanesLawOffice.