If I have the password to my husband’s account that I set up, can I go into it and print out statements?

UPDATED: Dec 4, 2011

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If I have the password to my husband’s account that I set up, can I go into it and print out statements?

My ex-husband is claiming that he does not have. Is this legal or would I get in trouble. Again I am going to stress I am the one who set up his account online for him and he has not change the password.

Asked on December 4, 2011 under Family Law, Florida


L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding searching through your husband’s personal accounts.  First, you should check the surveillance laws for your state.  Each state will vary when it comes to surveillance, including acting like a private investigator and going through your husband’s email.  If your state allows for this type of surveillance then you are likely in the clear to search away. 

If you are unsure of the laws of your state, you could contact a family law attorney in your area that would likely be familiar with these laws and could point you in the right direction.  Sometimes people avoid attorneys because they think hiring an attorney will cost too much money, but when you worried about your behavior that could be illegal, spending a little money to know the difference between what is legal and what is illegal is money well spent.

If you reside in a state where it is illegal to search through password protected accounts, it will not make a difference if you knew the password.  This could be compared to knowing someone’s pin number for their bank account.  If you knew a pin number you would not think that you could make withdrawals whenever you wanted from their account.  And while some states may not allow you to go through their email, you may be able to hire a private investigator to obtain the information you are seeking, but in a legal manner.

Check with an attorney in your area regarding this matter, because you want to be able to get enough information to support your assertions that your husband was lying about statements. 


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