Recording Spouse

Can You Record Your Spouse in Texas?

Yes, it is legal to record your spouse in Texas, as long as at least one participant has consented to recording. One of the best pieces of evidence I like to use on both child custody and divorce cases is audio and video recordings of your spouse. There are both federal and state laws that go hand-in-hand with both of these and you have to be careful about what you do.

As far as audio recording, Yes, it is legal to record your spouse in Texas if Texas is a one party consent state. In other words, this means that one of the parties to the recording has to know that they’re being recorded.  Basically, this means that you are the one person who consents.  You, of course, are consenting to your conversation with your spouse. The spouse does not have to know that they’re being recorded. As long as it’s just you and your spouse on the recording, it is perfectly acceptable.

A problem with this regulation tends to come about when a spouse tries to record a conversation between their spouse and a third-party (i.e. a girlfriend or something of the like). In that case there are three participants. The spouse and the two people having the conversation. It is against the law, and federal law to record a conversation between two people. This is an issue because of the fact that there is no consent from one party. In this case, you cannot provide consent to your spouse because your spouse is having a conversation with someone else.

Again, these types of conversations are not only unacceptable, they are illegal.

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Can I Video Record My Spouse Without Permission? Here’s How.

You may be wondering, “Can I video record my spouse without permission?” Yes, you can video record your spouse without their permission, though the situation can get tricky. People do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place. If video were taken at a location where an ordinary person would expect privacy, that would violate criminal laws. A person commits the offense of invasive visual recording if they photograph or take a video of a person, without that person’s knowledge or consent, in a bathroom or changing room, or while they are in an undressed state in any other private location. This is a state jail felony, which can carry a lengthy sentence.

So, how do I use audio recordings?  If there is a recording of a spouse being verbally abusive or even physically abusive, it can be very helpful in court. If a court hears this evidence, it will go a long way in terms of making custody determinations. For example, I have had cases where the spouse can be heard slapping the other spouse on the audio tape. This helped win a father custody. A piece of evidence like this can be a huge deciding factor in a case.

Video Recording Conversations in Texas

Next, there are video recordings. There are less rules that go along with video recordings. There’s not any type of consent that is needed. You simply record your spouse. You can do this using your phone or with any type of hidden camera. These video recordings can be useful when your spouse is either with someone with whom they are having a romantic relationship or if they become physically or verbally abusive at any time. It also helps in court if they are shown drunk or using drugs on the video.

With the advent of today’s technology, more and more video and audio tapes are being played in court. It actually puts the judge at the scene of the incident and allows them to evaluate for themselves what happened. It is no longer he said she said. The taped shows at all.

Are Voice Recordings Admissable In Court?

You may be wondering, “Are voice recordings admissible in Texas court?” Yes, recording conversations in Texas is permissible if at least one party involved is aware of the recording. In the context of divorce proceedings, recordings between the two parties are typically considered admissible in court if they are relevant. You are able to use a voice recording as evidence in family court. It is legal to tape record a conversation as long as one party to the conversation is aware the conversation is being recorded.

Contact an Experienced Texas Family Law Attorney Near You

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If you have questions about how and when to record, I would recommend consulting with me about these issues and how they can assist winning a custody or divorce case.

CategoryLegal Advice
  1. April 12, 2024

    Is it legal to present a voice recording as evidence in a Texas family court during divorce proceedings involving child custody?

    • April 12, 2024

      There’s not any type of consent that is needed. You simply record your spouse. You can do this using your phone or with any type of hidden camera. These video recordings can be useful when your spouse is either with someone with whom they are having a romantic relationship or if they become physically or verbally abusive at any time. It also helps in court if they are shown drunk or using drugs on the video.

  2. April 12, 2024

    Can my spouse legally record me on video without obtaining my permission, especially in the context of a divorce?

    • April 12, 2024

      Hi Maeve,

      These instances can be tricky.

      Yes, you can video record your spouse without their permission. People do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place. If video were taken at a location where an ordinary person would expect privacy, that would violate criminal laws.

  3. April 12, 2024

    Are secret voice recordings considered admissible evidence in Texas courts, particularly in matters related to divorce and child custody?

    • April 12, 2024

      Hi Shannon,

      You are able to use a voice recording as evidence in family court. It is legal to tape record a conversation as long as one party to the conversation is aware the conversation is being recorded.

  4. April 12, 2024

    Is it permissible to use recordings of conversations with my spouse as evidence in a Texas family court during a divorce, particularly in cases involving child custody?

    • April 12, 2024

      Hi Dan,

      Yes, recording conversations in Texas is permissible if at least one party involved is aware of the recording. In the context of divorce proceedings, recordings between the two parties are typically considered admissible in court if they are relevant.

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