Family law.... in space!

Headlines have been made recently with the news and allegations that an astronaut on the international space station may have accessed financial documents belonging to her wife (who was not in space at the time). The astronaut in question is alleged to have gone online and logged into her wife’s financial records without her consent, impersonating her or by using improperly obtained access.

Just what the consequences for the astronaut, if true, might be is unclear at present. Complaints have been made to NASA as the astronaut was a United States astronaut, but the questions arise:

  1. do US laws apply?

  2. do some other country’s laws apply?

  3. what criminal code applies on the international space station?

  4. should the situation be treated as if the astronauts are in international waters?

Does any of this make the astronaut in question a possible space pirate?

Whatever the case, the documents that were obtained are likely now tainted by the way they were obtained. Documents obtained illegally or fraudulently are generally inadmissible as evidence where the rules of evidence are strictly applied. The family law courts can disregard the rules of evidence in certain situations, but documents risk being challenged. Just like with secret recordings, these documents may not be able to be used in any subsequent proceedings.

If you really need documents, there are proper ways to obtain them - through court discovery processes and subpoenaed materials are by way of example. If you’re concerned about what your spouse is doing with money in accounts you don’t have access to, call us first on 03 9614 7111 and consult with our team of experts before doing something that might risk your case being damaged!