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Spying Spouses: Can I Record My Spouse’s Conversations?

Situation 1:

She hears it every day. He tells her that if she leaves him, he’ll take the children and she’ll get nothing. He has hidden money in places she’ll never find, and he’ll spend every dollar to keep her from getting any.

Situation 2:

He knows she’s up to something. She’s seeing someone. She’s talking to someone else when he’s not around. He needs to be able to prove it.

So what conversations can you legally record? Georgia is what we call a “one-party” state, meaning that you can legally record any conversation to which you’re a party. If you and your spouse are talking together at the dinner table, screaming at one another in the living room, or exchanging hushed angry whispers at your kid’s dance recital, you can legally record that conversation. It can be used in court to prove lying, deceit, inconsistent statements, threats, etc.

Recording your spouse as described in Situation 1 above would be lawful. She could record every single word that he says to her. She does not even have to tell him that she’s recording his every word.

But, Situation 2 is problematic. It’s actually illegal to record someone in this manner. However enlightening it might be, he cannot set up a discreet recording device in her car or in the home to record her conversations when he’s not around. It’s not just illegal; it’s a felony, punishable by imprisonment of 1-5 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.00. Do not do this.

So here’s the rule: Yes, you can record your conversations with your spouse. No, you cannot record any other conversations your spouse has … unless she consents

… but she won’t

… because she’s cheating on you.

 

Next installment: Can I follow my spouse around?