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Important information regarding recording phone calls

While everyone hopes for a peaceful co-parenting situation, sometimes circumstances beyond your control make this very difficult. If you have a high-conflict situation with an ex, you may dread having to have in-person conversations or phone calls. You may wonder if it's a good idea record any conversations so that you have proof of what happened or what was said for the courts later on, but this isn't a good idea.

The state of Connecticut has what is referred to as "two-party consent" laws. This means that you must have the consent of every party to the conversation — even if there are more than two — before you can legally record the conversation. This applies to both phone conversations and in-person discussions.

There is a bit of a gray area as to whether the other person has to give explicit consent or whether you can just let them know you are recording the conversation. At that point, if they didn't consent, they could hang up or end the conversation. If they continue to participate in the conversation, it could be implied consent.

If you are having difficult communicating effectively with your ex and conversations often devolve into accusations or yelling, it may be a good idea to talk to your attorney about alternative methods. Some co-parents in high-conflict situations find that switching to written communications only, whether via text and email or through a special app designed for divorced parents, is more effective. It may also be helpful to conduct custody exchanges in public places and have someone with you as a witness.

Source: Digital Media Law Project, "Recording Phone Calls and Conversations," accessed Aug. 18, 2016

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