Can I record my spouse's phone calls?


Lawyer's Tip:  Unless your spouse is committing criminal acts against you or other household members, do not record phone conversations.

Most divorce attorneys field this issue many times in their career.  The lean and fast answer is no.  However, spouses should understand all the various aspects of this topic, as it does come up in nearly every divorce.  Recordings in a divorce create a minefield, of sorts, where everyone should be careful.

First, and foremost, let's talk about statutes related to what is deemed electronic "eavesdropping."  At the federal level, (and federal laws do apply!), there is what's called the  Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act.  This law essentially prevents you from recording telephone conversations without the other's permission.  More importantly, is that the law provides that the person who was recorded, can file a lawsuit against you for civil damages.  (as you will read below, you in addition to civil damages, you are also at risk for criminal damages).

(this article is being slightly revised to explain the State law on the eavesdropping statute.  Please return shortly for the revised article)

If you have any questions regarding this topic,

please call Paul D. Nordini at (480) 527-9000
or email at: 

Nordini & Thompson, a practice exclusive to divorce and custody litigation.