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Is it Legal to Record My Spouse or Partner during my NJ Divorce?

By Sarah Jacobs, Esq.

Morristown Spousal Spying and Divorce Lawyers NJ

Morris County Family and Divorce Attorneys Here to Advise you Every Step of the Way

Morristown Spousal Spying and Divorce Lawyers NJIt`s not unusual to think that uncovering possible evidence that your spouse or partner is having an affair or engaging in inappropriate behavior, is enough to prompt a person to file for divorce or dissolution of a civil union. Spouses wanting to build a case for divorce and record their partner’s conversations can unknowingly expose themselves to Federal and New Jersey state criminal and civil liability while trying to find the proverbial “smoking gun” to bolster their case.

There are numerous ways to harm your case when attempting to record interactions that often arise during contentious child custody litigation or when domestic violence is alleged.  If your spouse or partner knows they are being recorded, it is highly unlikely they will act-out. You could become vulnerable to invasion of privacy or stalking claims, your recording could be ruled as inadmissible, and you could be subject to monetary fines (i.e., associated with loss of privacy, mental anguish or special damages).

Before engaging technology to record your spouse, speak with an attorney to discuss alternative less-risky options that protect you and supports your case. At Jacobs Berger, we pride ourselves on being able to find constructive and creative solutions to even the most difficult of divorces, allowing our clients to resolve their contested divorce or child support in a manner which protects the entire family’s financial and emotional stability. With extensive experience working with clients and families across New Jersey and Morris County towns like Madison, Randolph, Morristown, East Hanover, Florham Park, Morris Township, Denville, Dover, and more, our firm is ideally suited to helping you to resolve your contested divorce and civil union dissolution without expensive and contentious courtroom litigation.

Call our office today to discuss your unique needs, concerns, and situations when it comes to your family, in a strategic planning session with our experienced legal team.

Spousal Spying in Morris County NJ Divorce Cases

Whether a spouse has a history of infidelity, is insecure, or has a need to control, spousal spying to gain leverage during divorce or custody litigation, is not healthy for either spouse or the marriage. If a spouse’s spying activities are found to be illegal, any information that may have uncovered cannot be used at a divorce or custody proceeding.

The New Jersey Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act N.J.S.A. 2A:156A-1 governs how you can record your spouse. New Jersey is a “one-party consent” state, meaning that you only need the consent of one person in a conversation to record it. If you are part of the conversation, whether in-person or over the phone, you can record the conversation without the other person(s) being aware that you are doing so. Without the consent of at least one involved party, it’s illegal to record, distribute, or use the audio recording. Anyone who violates these parts of the Wiretapping Act is guilty of a third degree felony and may also find themselves sued for monetary damages and legal fees.

If you are already in possession of a recording that you think might be a resource to your or your divorce case, it’s highly recommended that you consult your attorney about it, and review the viability of the content and the methods you used to obtain it.  If your original intent was to protect yourself,  your attorney may be able to help you navigate this sensitive issue, before creating a situation that could potentially hurt your chances of success.

Solutions to Spousal Spying in NJ

  • Always take steps to protect yourself and your reputation. Maintain the high road.
  • If you suspect you are being recorded by a spouse, avoid engaging with your spouse, as doing so may escalate an already tense situation.
  • If your parenting time is not court ordered to be supervised, consider having a relative or close friend there to witness you with the children. If you maintain a parenting log, note this information.
  • If you are parallel parenting, you may consider communicating via text message only so that your conversations are in writing. During a custody litigation, a spouse or parent who purposefully lies in order to gain an advantage during litigation, is in danger of having their custodial rights or parenting time suspended by the court.
  • Contact your attorney about the legality and admissibility of such recordings.

If you are tempted to spy on your spouse, or believe they have been spying on you, don’t take matters into your own hands. We have the knowledge to advise you on this complicated issue, as well as any other legal issues that may affect your case.

Morris Divorce Attorneys Protect Your Rights

At The Law Office of Jacobs Berger, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients resolve their divorces in a manner focused on building healthy, secure, and stable foundations for you and your family, rather than potentially causing further harm to the trust you have already built over the course of your marriage. Our firm also works closely with a network of mental health professionals and financial advisers who can help you with the aspects of your divorce that a lawyer cannot.

At Jacobs Berger, our firm believes each case we take is an opportunity to help reshape our clients’ futures. We will take the time to understand your unique needs and concerns before offering legal advice, just as we have done for many clients in New Jersey towns such as Randolph, Morristown, East Hanover, Rockaway, Madison, Tewksbury, Dover, Denville, Morris County, and throughout New Jersey.

Contact us online or through our Morristown offices by calling (973) 710-4366 today for a strategic planning session.

Contact Our Morristown Attorneys Today

At Jacobs Berger, our attorneys are experienced in protecting our clients across Madison, Randolph, Tewksbury, Morristown, and the greater Morris County area in all family law-related issues.

To schedule a strategic planning session with one of our experienced team members regarding your particular case, please contact us online or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 354-4506.