Premier Family Law Representation In Southern Florida

Mark Abzug

When are recordings admissible as child custody case evidence?

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2023 | Child Custody, Divorce

The ubiquitous influence of electronic communication tools seems to make it easy to hold anyone accountable for their misbehaviors, like a scorned ex caught on camera making threatening remarks due to the tensions of divorce.

There are countless ways a wrongly motivated parent can acquire recordings to paint the child’s other parent as unfit. Some may wear a wireless microphone under their shirt to record the audio of a heated discussion. Others may strategically install a hidden camera inside the house to capture a confrontation on video. Also, some download software to the other parent’s devices to gain access to private information they can save or screen record.

However, these are all futile attempts to discredit a parent in a child custody case. Per Florida law, any recording obtained without consent is inadmissible evidence. Even in severe cases of abuse, the court may still not consider it valid proof, unless the child is recording.

When can these recordings be admissible?

Recordings may only hold weight in a child custody case if either of the following exists:

  • If both parties consent to use recordings as a way to establish their mutual commitment to check on each other and avoid inaccurate depictions of what happens during conversations
  • If a parent sends recordings to the other without knowing that the material can be detrimental to their case, demonstrating implied consent as they willingly provided the information

While these are the rules, there may still be nuances to specific scenarios that a skilled representative possibly uses to influence favorable outcomes.

Do not take matters into your own hands

Think long and hard before hitting the record button during a child custody dispute. What you think may be helping your case could only keep you further away from your child. You must work with your counsel to identify ways to build your case instead of wasting time and resources trying to illegally gather proof that the court won’t recognize.