Under the law, manipulating, hiding, or opening mail addressed to another person, even if it is to your spouse or former spouse, is a federal offense. However, if either email is addressed to both of you, then it would be permissible for your spouse to open the mail. If it is addressed exclusively to you, opening your mail is illegal. Actually, it's a federal crime to open someone else's mail other than yours, so being married wouldn't change that.
Being married just makes it easier to access someone else's mail. These are common questions that arise in family court situations. This would fall under the general heading of mail handling. We've all heard that the famous manipulation of lines in the U.S.
UU. This is under Section 1708 of the United States Code, Title 18, and yes, opening someone else's mail can result in fines and imprisonment for up to five years. When they are married, there is an implicit permission that they are allowed to open each other's mail. However, when one of the parties has moved, that permit is considered terminated.
Sometimes, the type of mail and what you do with it is important. For example, if you open a bill addressed to him, it would be different from opening, for example, a letter about his work and then hiding it from him. It would be better to go wrong on the side of caution and leave the mail alone. A federal statute known as 18 USC Section 1702 prohibits opening correspondence addressed to another person.
However, the law cannot be applied if you did not recognize that the mail was not yours when you opened it. For example, if you received multiple items in the mail and opened all the envelopes without paying special attention to the recipient, you may be able to open an email that is not yours. Because you did not acknowledge that the mail belonged to someone else before opening it, no crime has been committed. According to a USPS representative who reached the USPS toll-free number (800-725-216), these sections of the code include people who open mail other than their own.
If the mail is addressed exclusively to you, then anyone else who opens that email is subject to federal prosecution, even if that person is a family member. Is it legal for a husband to change the lock on a post office box where husband and wife's mail goes before going to Family Court?.