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  1. #1
    skarys is offline Junior Member
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    Does my ex have right to record phone conversation w/kids?

    Florida
    My ex and I have joint custody of our children. He resides in Rhode Island I am in Florida.
    My children spend the summer with him in Rhode Island. My 16 year old daughter found a tape recorder and listened to it while she was in his home. He has been recording phone conversations with my children and I for the past year. One of the conversations was to a lawyer he has contacted about getting my alimony payments to stop. And also, he is trying to get me to pay half for the transportation of my children to and from Florida.

    My first question is does he have the right to record out conversations without our permission? And, Can he take me back to court to lower or stop my alimony?
  2. #2
    wileybunch is offline Senior Member
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    Well, I'm just going to get hung up on this:

    Quote Originally Posted by skarys View Post
    He has been recording phone conversations with my children and I for the past year.
    Please tell me you're truly speaking about YOUR kids, ie. kids you had through a sperm donor or somehow on your own, not children that are from the man you're speaking of here in which case they are not MY children, they are OUR children.
  3. #3
    skarys is offline Junior Member
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    Angry

    The question is does my ex husband have the right to record phone conversations with OUR children?

    I thought this was an forum to post questions. I mentioned an ex husband not a sperm donor. Please answer the question.
  4. #4
    waitinMd is offline Member
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    States with two party consent laws are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.

    google two party consent laws....

    rhode island can record, florida can not.... now go find out what happens if you call from RI to Florida.
  5. #5
    ProSeDadinMD is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by waitinMd View Post
    States with two party consent laws are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.

    google two party consent laws....

    rhode island can record, florida can not.... now go find out what happens if you call from RI to Florida.
    Unless I am sadly mistaken, even in a one party state, you have to actually be a party to the conversation to record it(or have the permission of one of the parties to do so, and minors can't give consent). If the call was betwixt Mom and the kids, Dad should NOT be recording it.
  6. #6
    skarys is offline Junior Member
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    So if Rhode Island is a one party consent state, and Florida is a two party consent state. Doesn't my ex husband require consent to record calls he is making to Florida? I am not clear on this.
  7. #7
    waitinMd is offline Member
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    here is a good site to look at:

    [url]http://www.callcorder.com/phone-recording-law-america.htm#State%20Laws%20(Table[/url])

    scroll down the page....

    Recording Telephone Calls with Parties in Different Jurisdictions
    Federal law may apply when the conversation is between parties who are in different states, although it is unsettled whether a court will hold in a given case that federal law "pre-empts" state law, but either state may choose to enforce its own laws. Therefore it is better to err on the side of caution when recording an interstate telephone call.
  8. #8
    proud_parent is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by skarys View Post
    So if Rhode Island is a one party consent state, and Florida is a two party consent state. Doesn't my ex husband require consent to record calls he is making to Florida? I am not clear on this.
    Here's the part I'm not clear on: to which conversations do you refer when you state "calls he is making to Florida"? Conversations between you and the children (to which your ex was not a party)? Or conversations between Dad and the attorney?:
    Quote Originally Posted by skarys View Post
    One of the conversations was to a lawyer he has contacted about getting my alimony payments to stop.

    First, let's suppose just for the sake of argument that Dad acted illegally in recording your phone calls with the children. What do you intend to do with that information? Quote the law at him in hopes that he will stop? Report him to the authorities, in hopes that he will be prosecuted criminally? Take him to civil court in hopes that you may recover damages?


    Second, let's get back to your other question...
    Quote Originally Posted by skarys View Post
    Can he take me back to court to lower or stop my alimony?
    Yes, absolutely. Whether or not he would prevail depends on whether he can prove a change in circumstance sufficient to warrant a reduction or termination.

    I'm going out on a limb to guess that the order for alimony is from Florida, so the attorney Dad contacted is in Florida and not Rhode Island. Is that the case?

    In any case, Dad may have had the attorney's consent to record their phone conversations in regards to alimony. I know attorneys who would encourage their clients to record in such circumstances, as it is an inexpensive and convenient means of notetaking.


    Finally, since you seem concerned about ex violating your privacy as regards your conversations with the children, did you have a stern talk with the 16 year old about respecting her father's privacy?
    Quote Originally Posted by skarys View Post
    My 16 year old daughter found a tape recorder and listened to it while she was in his home.
    How did she find the tape recorder? Was she snooping? Even if she stumbled innocently across the recorder, why did she listen to the tapes? How long did she to listen to the tapes to discover there were recordings both of you AND of Dad and the attorney?
    Last edited by proud_parent; 06-11-2008 at 10:10 AM. Reason: Quoting for posterity
  9. #9
    Blue Meanie is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by waitinMd View Post
    States with two party consent laws are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.

    google two party consent laws....

    rhode island can record, florida can not.... now go find out what happens if you call from RI to Florida.
    #1. This is a federal issue.
    #2. EVEN IF it was a one party consent situation, it wouldn't apply in this case because Dad didn't have consent of either party. Child is too young to consent and Dad can't consent for her.
  10. #10
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    No, the X can not "legally" record you talking to the kids. You can put him on notice that you are aware of his having done so, but that does not mean he will stop. If he chooses to continuen, you can bet he hide it a bit better.

    I am assuming he is doing the recording on a land line as the kids would know if he had something hooked up to his or their cell phone. The only way to prevent this is for you to send kids to dad's with their own cell phones and then only talk to them on it.
  11. #11
    waitinMd is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by baystategirl View Post
    #2. EVEN IF it was a one party consent situation, it wouldn't apply in this case because Dad didn't have consent of either party. Child is too young to consent and Dad can't consent for her.

    thank you, I didn't know that!

    I am assuming he is doing the recording on a land line as the kids would know if he had something hooked up to his or their cell phone. The only way to prevent this is for you to send kids to dad's with their own cell phones and then only talk to them on it.
    I know Radio shack sells recorders you hook into a phone jack. The device is activated when the phone rings. He could have the recorder in any room of the house. A computer can do the same thing, just run the phone line to the back of your computer and set up the program. The cell phone is a great suggestion.
  12. #12
    wileybunch is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by skarys View Post
    The question is does my ex husband have the right to record phone conversations with OUR children?

    I thought this was an forum to post questions. I mentioned an ex husband not a sperm donor. Please answer the question.
    Then maybe you should be more careful how you refer to the children.

    Quote Originally Posted by ProSeDadinMD View Post
    Unless I am sadly mistaken, even in a one party state, you have to actually be a party to the conversation to record it(or have the permission of one of the parties to do so, and minors can't give consent). If the call was betwixt Mom and the kids, Dad should NOT be recording it.
    Not true in all states (we just had that come up recently, don't recall which state the discussion was about), would have to look specifically at the states involved.
    Last edited by wileybunch; 06-11-2008 at 10:14 AM.
  13. #13
    proud_parent is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wileybunch View Post
    Not true in all states (we just had that come up recently, don't recall which state the discussion was about), would have to look specifically at the states involved.
    If you are thinking of the case law I posted from Texas, the mother in that case was recording her child's conversations with a third party (who, IIRC, happened to be a sexual offender). She was not recording the child's phone calls with his/her own father.


    I'm still curious as to OP's true concern. Is it the mere fact that Dad recorded illegally? Or is it because she realizes she betrayed something in conversation with the children that tipped Dad off to the change of circumstances required for the court to terminate alimony?
    Last edited by proud_parent; 06-11-2008 at 10:36 AM. Reason: typo
  14. #14
    skarys is offline Junior Member
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    Quote: Here's the part I'm not clear on: to which conversations do you refer when you state "calls he is making to Florida"? Conversations between you and the children (to which your ex was not a party)? Or conversations between Dad and the attorney?:

    Ok, to simplify, he is calling our children from Rhode Island to Florida and recording these conversations. He is calling me from Rhode Island to Florida and recording these conversations as well. On the recorder was a conversation of him and his attorney talking about diminishing my alimony.

    As for our daughter finding the recorder. She initially was just playing around with it she says, and was very disturbed that her father would do something as to record their conversations. I will not give her a stern talk about listening to the recorder. The issue here is he is an adult, and should not be recording conversations without consent. Also if he was so concerned about his own privacy, he should not be leaving such a devise around so a minor could have access to it. Especially his own child. He is the one that needs the stern talking to. Our daughter does not need to be a part of it. Our daughter claims that the device was laying on a lamp table in the living room.

    I am concerned for our children. This is the reason why I had posted this question. I do not want these children after three years to suffer any more from this divorce. It has taken a lot to get them back into the norm of things and I do not want them to be a part the hatred their father obviously has for me. There is no betrayal involved on this end.

    If it is illegal, I want to know. If this ever does come to him taking me back to court. I need to understand why he is recording us, and it will be mentioned in court as to why he is doing so. Prosecuting him is definitely not beneficial and I would not take it that far. Like I said before. I want to know is if his recording these recorded conversations are illegal, and does he have the right?

    He is documenting for some reason and I should obviously be doing the same.
    Originally Posted by skarys View Post
    So if Rhode Island is a one party consent state, and Florida is a two party consent state. Doesn't my ex husband require consent to record calls he is making to Florida? I am not clear on this.
  15. #15
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by skarys View Post
    So if Rhode Island is a one party consent state, and Florida is a two party consent state. Doesn't my ex husband require consent to record calls he is making to Florida? I am not clear on this.
    it goes by the most restrictive. Which means Florida controls and both parties need to consent.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.

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