Can a recorded telephone conversation be used in divorce hearing?

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Can a recorded telephone conversation be used in divorce hearing?

I have a recorded phone conversation of my husband threatening to punch me in the
face and to take my children away.

Can this be used in a court of law to show mental distress

Asked on August 25, 2017 under Family Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, but there is a risk in using it. 
1) In a civil case, you can use and document or recording regardless of how you obtained it, so long as it is overwise admissible. Since you were on the conversation and can testify as to its authenticity, and since this would constitute an admission by a party-opponent (by the other side), it is admissible evidence.
2) But in your state, it is a criminal act to record a conversation unless *everyone* involved in the conversation consents to it being recorded. Unless your husband agreed to be recorded, it was criminal to record him, and so using it in court is admitting in court to  a criminal act and you could potentially face prosecution.


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