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Should you record your spouse’s abusive behavior?

| Feb 27, 2020 | Family Law |

Your spouse has turned into someone who is so far removed from the person you thought you married that you don’t even recognize them any longer. You’re heading for a divorce, and you suspect that your spouse is going to make every step of the way as painful as possible. You’ll probably have to fight for custody.

Knowing your situation, a friend suggests that you try to catch your spouse hurdling abuse at you on tape, with the idea that it might be useful in court.

That’s not a good idea. Illinois is considered a two-party consent state, meaning that everyone involved in a conversation that can reasonably be expected to be private must consent to be recorded. If someone is recorded without their knowledge, that’s a violation of federal wiretapping laws.

What does that mean? Generally, if your spouse starts making threats and yelling at you while you’re in the parking lot of a local restaurant, that’s not a private area. You can probably record what your spouse is saying without a problem.

On the other hand, if you set up a hidden camera and aim it at the dinner table hoping to catch one of your spouse’s regular outbursts, you will probably be on the wrong side of the law.

With a handy camera right in every cellphone, it’s very tempting to give in to the idea that nothing is really private. You may be naturally anxious to get evidence that can sway the judge your way in court. However, you could be making a grave mistake by recording your spouse when it’s against the law.

Before you make a significant legal mistake when it comes to handling issues with your spouse, ex-spouse or children, it’s smart to get some experienced legal advice first.


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