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Can You Secretly Record Conversations You Have With Your Wife?

We all know some people who will not tell the truth if they think there’s a chance of it coming back to them in the future. A lying spouse makes divorcing more frustrating than normal.

If you are facing divorce and you suspect your wife is going to say different things to you than she will say to an attorney or a judge, then you might be tempted to try to secretly record your conversations with her to capture the truth in an audio or video file. Are you actually allowed to secretly record conversations with your spouse, though? The answer is a bit of a gray area, in both federal and Michigan law.

Is It Eavesdropping Or Just Being Proactive?

Federal law and state-level laws in Michigan both prohibit you from recording someone who is unaware of the recording taking place. These rules have their roots in laws against wiretapping being used to land convictions, but also apply in family court. If you secretly record your wife, none of what you capture can be considered in a court of family law because you were technically spying, and illegally so.

However, there is a caveat: Under some circumstances, you are legally allowed to secretly record someone’s conversation as long as you are taking part in that conversation. That is to say, if you want to capture a candid conversation with your wife about what she thinks about issues such as domestic violence, alimony, custody, or parenting time, then you can do that as long as she is talking to you. Technically, you cannot spy or eavesdrop on yourself, and your wife can’t claim that she thought you weren’t paying attention and that is why she spoke so candidly.

Use Caution Before Using the Recorder – Call (248) 327-0050

The legal wrinkle that may allow you to secretly record your wife without breaking the law is not one you should jump to exploit. The law is always changing, and situations like this are open to a court’s interpretation and discretion. You could think you’re doing something within your legal limitations, but be surprised to find that a court says otherwise. You should also consider the possibility that even if the recording is legal it may not be admissible into evidence or, even it is, could backfire in court proceedings. As with many things you are considering in preparing for a family law matter you need to weigh the benefits of what you’re hoping to accomplish against the risks associated that that action.

Before you hide a voice recorded behind a bookcase, call (248) 327-0050 to connect with ADAM (American Divorce Association for Men) in Michigan. Our attorneys can help you understand your rights during a family law dispute of any kind. For the last few decades, we have intentionally focused our law firm’s practice on representing men in divorce and custody matters, who are historically underrepresented. See what we can do for you by arranging a free initial consultation with our team.

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