As long as you don’t violate Florida’s two-party consent laws to create a recording, it may be admissible as evidence during divorce proceedings.
If you have any recorded evidence that you intend to use for your divorce, always consult with your attorney before using it or telling anyone else you have it. Violating the two-party consent laws can not only mean the recordings will be inadmissible as evidence, but you may also expose yourself to unnecessary civil and criminal liability.
What Is Florida’s Two-Party Consent Law?
Florida’s two-party consent law requires that in any conversation between two or more people, all parties must consent to the recording. This means it’s important for anyone recording conversations to be aware of this law and ensure compliance.
How Do I Obtain Consent for a Recording?
Obtaining consent to a recording is essential when it comes to protecting your liability and ensuring that any evidence gathered may be used in court. As such, you must have a clear record that you had the other party’s consent to create the recording.
You can document the other party’s consent in the following ways:
- Have the other party sign a document consenting to the recording
- Begin recording and obtain the other party’s verbal consent to the recording
By taking steps to secure consent before recording, you can protect your liability.
What About Recordings from Home Security Devices?
If a security device in your home recorded something that you believe is relevant to your divorce, consult with your attorney for guidance before doing anything else.
As long as your spouse was aware of the device’s presence and the fact that it would have been recording, you may be able to use the recording and not have to worry about your liability.
The Problem with Gathering Recorded Evidence on Your Own
In addition to exposing yourself to an immense amount of potential liability by recording a conversation between you and your spouse, you might not even get the kind of information you need.
You might wonder to yourself, however, “How am I supposed to get them to admit to abusing me or hiding assets on tape?” Admittedly, that’s the problem with attempting to get recorded evidence on your own in a two-party consent state such as Florida. Because your spouse must consent to the recording, they’re within their rights to refuse to be recorded; if they do consent, they may also not be as candid or honest as they would be otherwise.
Although this problem can make it seem like secretly recording them is your only option, it’s not – and you should avoid doing so to protect your liability.
Consult with Your Attorney for Guidance
Before you attempt to make a recording of your spouse for any reason, consult with your attorney. Oftentimes, what people hope to achieve by recording their spouses can be achieved by other means – typically through a recorded deposition or by testimony under oath in court.
Your attorney can help you facilitate these legal actions, which protect you from the liability risks you assume by attempting to record a conversation on your own.
If you have additional questions about this topic or another question about divorce, you can reach out to Beatriz Zyne, P.A. online today for legal guidance.