What to do if I recently found out that my ex-husband’s wife has been reading my emails from my son’s phone?

UPDATED: Oct 13, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if I recently found out that my ex-husband’s wife has been reading my emails from my son’s phone?

Is this legal? She has also been using my social security number to check State Benefits Department (Food Stamps, Welfare, Medicaid) and see if I am receiving benefits. Is any of this legal and what can I do about it? She has also had a neighbor spying on me, submitted several false reports to CPS, and spent the last two years spreading hateful stuff about me through text email and facebook. She also gave my SSN to a third party individual. Is rhis legal?

Asked on October 13, 2012 under Criminal Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You have several activities listed.  Some are legal and some are not.  It's never okay to use someone else's social or identifying information.   Texas actually has a criminal offense called "fraudulent use or possession of identifying information."  Usually, it is considered a state jail felony.  If she is using your social without your permission to get access to private information or is handing it out, then you should contact your local law enforcement agency to file a complaint. 

With regard to her reading emails.  You may or may not have a claim.  If you give a third party access to your private emails, which includes your son, it's much harder to show a violation of a privacy interest. However, if she was just using his phone, but getting into the account fraudulently, then you may have the same type of crime listed above.

The spreading of info on the internet may be criminal or civil.  Texas now has some online harassment statutes, but they tend to be very limited in application and are only misdemeanors.  Regardless of whether her communications are via the interenet or some other means, though, if she is intentionally making false statements to others, you may have a civil defamation law suit.

As to what to do overall-- start with the criminal complaint.  Sometimes that's enough to get a person's attention-- but sometimes it just gets it started.  If that doesn't work, seek a restraining order based on all of the facts described.  You may also want to consider filing for a modification of your custody orders to set up rules which minimize her activities.  The judge in the custody case can't really order her to do certain things, but he can order you ex-to take more proactive measures.  For example, not allowing new wife to possess, access, or otherwise interfere with the use of your son's phone would be a good start.  If it starts hitting his pocket book (with more attorney's fees), he'll probably be motivated to start managing her a little better.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption