We get a lot of questions from potential clients about proving adultery in the state of Maryland. They want to know “What does adultery in Maryland consist of?” “How do I get the evidence I need?”
Let me start by saying, this in no way constitutes legal advice of any kind and I am not an attorney. This is simply my professional opinion as a private investigator based upon years of experience conducting adultery investigations in Maryland.
So where was I?
There is often a misconception that the cheating spouse needs to be caught “in the act”. While this makes for great television and high suspense, the reality is that the standard in Maryland is relatively low. In my experience working with family law practices, the standard to prove adultery in Maryland is the proof of Disposition and Opportunity. Proving adultery in Maryland requires the presence of both standards.
In Maryland, Disposition is simply some affectionate act between two parties. We generally categorize disposition as the behavior displayed toward the paramour ( an illicit lover, especially of a married person) that would most likely be expected to be displayed toward the spouse. This could include holding hands in public, cuddling, kissing, and of course making out. Again, the standard does not necessarily have to include proof of a sex act. If it does, that proof significantly strengthens the case against the cheating spouse.
Opportunity is simply that, did the cheating spouse have the opportunity to commit the act of affection toward the paramour? Proof of opportunity is best satisfied by catching the cheating spouse and paramour in the same place at the same time, and it is reasonable to believe that they could be acting in an affectionate manner.
For example, in an instance where the suspected cheating male spouse meets a female for dinner at a restaurant, they exchange embraces and a kiss on the lips, and at the end of dinner, they go their separate ways, which probably would not satisfy disposition and opportunity. However, in the same scenario, if the suspected cheating male spouse then follows the “friend” to a hotel across the street, is subsequently observed entering the lobby elevator together, and is observed several hours later leaving the hotel alone, it is reasonable to believe that he had both the disposition and opportunity to commit adultery.
Now the tricky part – is hearsay is not considered proof. You actually have to obtain legally collected evidence documenting the actions of the cheating spouse in Maryland to prove disposition and opportunity. If you aren’t quite sure how to go about that, we can certainly help. I would, however, caution against taking matters into your own hands as you could unintentionally break some laws which could land you in hot water. Unlicensed, non-professional, or DIY private investigators could easily break privacy laws, harassment laws, and stalking laws; which could result in civil and criminal prosecution.
If you suspect that your partner is committing adultery, call Legal Eye Investigations, LLC. We are a Maryland-licensed private investigations firm providing results-driven investigations. Contact an investigator TODAY by using our convenient, 24/7 online contact form or calling our office at 410-921-5804.