One of the most common questions of spouses getting divorced is whether it is legal to record conversations during a divorce to use as evidence. The legality of recordings depends on the circumstances. However, even if a recording is legal, it doesn’t mean it is admissible at trial or will help your case.
When Is It Legal to Record Conversations During Divorce in Connecticut?
You can record an in-person conversation with your spouse and/or child without their knowledge or consent, provided you are physically present. However, it is illegal to hide a recording device to capture a discussion if you are not physically present and none of the parties to the conversation provide consent. Phone conversations cannot be recorded without the knowledge and consent of all participants.
Are Recordings Admissible in the Divorce Proceeding?
Recordings are only admissible if they were legally obtained and relevant to the issues in the case. Evidentiary rules are complex, and sometimes, the court does not allow recordings if the prejudicial nature of the recording outweighs the probative value.
How Do Judges View Spouses Who Record Conversations During Divorce?
Judges are accustomed to parties recording each other, and they take both a legal and practical view of such evidence. For example, if one party is recording without the other party’s knowledge, the conversation is not spontaneous on both sides. The judge is aware that the spouse doing the recording will likely guard his or her behavior and language. That spouse may also manipulate the situation to get the other party to say or do something damaging.
Are There Special Concerns When Recording Conversations With Children?
Generally, judges don’t like to see a parent inform a child that he or she is being recorded because it puts the child in a difficult situation and gets them involved in a divorce. However, regardless of the child’s knowledge about the recording, there are other potential problems. Parents aren’t usually skilled at asking children neutral questions, especially in a divorce which is typically very emotional and stressful. Intentionally or not, a parent may ask leading questions or influence the child’s responses, especially if the child is young. This may affect the reliability of the evidence and reflect unfavorably on the parent making the recording.
If you are considering divorce, consult an attorney before you record any conversations to discuss the best course of action. Your recordings could hurt your case, so you must be careful.
Our firm has extensive experience with Connecticut divorce cases and can help guide you regarding recording conversations and other evidence supporting your case. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you in achieving a positive outcome in your divorce.