Can I Record My Spouse Without Him or Her Knowing?

Pleasanton CA famiy lawAt the Law Office of James P. White, we often hear about the problems that lead up to a divorce. Naturally, many people who are stuck in a bad marriage are often looking to protect themselves as they prepare for the upcoming divorce

One suggestion we often hear is that people should record their soon-to-be-ex, especially if they say things that prove infidelity, domestic abuse, bad parenting, and more. After all, evidence is key during any legal proceeding, right?

This is actually terrible advice, and in California, you should never record anyone without their knowledge or consent. 

Recording without Consent is Illegal

The state of California considers all private conversations to be confidential, regardless of whether they happen in person, via a phone, online, and more. California Penal Code section 632 defines the act of recording someone without their consent as illegal.

Violations of this clause can be punished with heavy criminal and civil penalties. If found guilty of recording someone without their consent, you could face a fine of up to $2,500 and a jail term up to 12 months. 

Putting the criminal and civil penalties aside, illegal evidence is not admissible under any court of law. An illegal recording would do you no good during your divorce, as it simply isn’t allowed to enter into the equation from the get-go.

No-Fault Divorces in California

With that said, it’s important to remember that California is a “no-fault” state. This means that you don’t need a reason to seek a divorce, and don’t need to prove anything to get the process started.

Learn more about how divorce works in California by speaking to a legal professional. We offer free initial consultations at the Law Offices of James P. White so give us a call at your earliest convenience.