It would be best to discuss this strategy with your divorce attorney and decide together if it will help your case or damage it.
Divorce can be a messy business, and no one wants to get caught in a “he-said-she-said” situation in front of the court. That is why hard evidence during a divorce is very important when building your case. In situations involving conflicts, like abusive relationships, complicated financial arrangements, custody of children, etc., recording conversations between you and your spouse can provide crucial information to the court.
Is It Legal to Record Your Spouse in Missouri?
The answer is yes, as long as you are participating in the conversation. Missouri, like federal law, has a “one-party consent” law, which means that you don’t have to get the confirmation of consent from all the participants in the discussion, but only from one of them. This includes private, public, wired or live conversations that you think may bring you an advantage in court when divorcing.
When Am I Not Allowed to Record My Spouse?
Any recording of a conversation you are not taking part in, without knowing or consent of at least one of the participants is considered illegal, whether you are recording live, phone or another type of conversation.
The Missouri law covers conversations that are expected to be private, so exceptions may apply to discussions which take place in public areas, where you could expect someone overhearing what you say and even record it without needing consent. But be careful, as the circumstances will not allow you to do so in most cases.
Another important thing to consider is: are all participants to the conversation in Missouri at the time it is recorded? This is important, as those who were in a different state may use that state’s law against you if it’s not a “one-party consent” state.
How Does the Court View Secret Recordings?
Even if Missouri is a state that allows you to legally record a conversation between you and another person, it doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to do it for your divorce trial. The court generally frowns upon secret recordings and if they don’t bring relevant information, they are not giving you a great advantage. Also, you should be able to justify why you had to use this method in the first place.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney
To conclude, in Missouri you are able to record a conversation and use it in your divorce file if it contains relevant information and if you participated in that conversation, or you have consent from another participant. However, it would be best to discuss this strategy with your St. Louis divorce lawyer and decide together if it will help your case or damage it.
If you have any questions concerning your case, contact The Betz Law Firm at (314) 801-8488 or fill out our online contact form. We are committed to guiding our clients through the court process with same level of professionalism that we would wish for our own family members. We are aware of the trust our clients place in us with the future of their family and we strive daily to earn it.