Don’t record your spouse without consent
It is very tempting to record conversations a spouse is having with someone who can demonstrate that a particular fact is indeed true in regards to a certain situation in a case such as a dissolution of marriage (divorce). For example, in Florida, you might believe your spouse is funneling important marital assets, that are property, real or personal, that were acquired during the marriage and will be part of the equitable distribution following final judgment. The phone rings and as you quietly picks it up the party on the other end, not realizing you are listening outlines plans to receive certain marital property items from your spouse. You keep a tape recorder handy for just such an occasion as surely this will be definite proof of what you have suspected all along. Wrong!
In fact, in the state of Florida, there is a specific statute, Florida Statute 934.03 detailing the wiretapping law giving complete rules making it illegal to record or intercept a “wire, oral, or electronic communication” unless all parties to the communication consent. This is called a “two-party consent” law. Instead of being helpful, the information recorded in the above illustration will be considered a criminal offense and you could be held liable for a civil lawsuit for damages suffered by the injured party, in the above case, your spouse. While this may not seem fair, it is the law.
There is, however, an exception which is worth noting and one often taken advantage of by a private investigator hired to “snoop”. If a conversation between two or more people occurs in a public place, such as a restaurant or movie theater, where words spoken could possibly be heard by others, the conversation may be recorded and the information used as evidence. Properly trained and licensed persons seeking information pertinent to a specific case will know when to record and when not to. It is usually wise to hire a professional rather than try to do the “snooping” yourself.
If you live in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, or Hillsborough counties in Florida, in Washington DC, or New York and have questions regarding the “two-party consent” wiretapping law, Attorney Grant Gisondo, a Family Law Attorney, offers a free, initial, in-office consultation where he will meet with you personally to answer your questions and share how he can help in your particular case. His office hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and for new clients, Saturday 8:30 am. To 1:00 pm. You can call his office at (561) 530-4568 for an appointment.