I have a recording of a conversation between my wife and I that shows she is unfit to take care of our kids as well as text messages that show she has a drinking problem.
Can I use this information to help me get custody of my kids?
Please be advised that I am barred in Pennsylvania and will answer your question based on my expertise and experience in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania is a two-party consent state when it comes to recordings. That means that it is illegal to record someone without his or her knowledge that he or she is being recorded. Illegally obtained evidence is not admissible at court.
However, with regard to text, Facebook, and/or e-mail messages, so long as the same were not retrieved impermissibly (i.e. the phone was accessible to you and phone/account was not password protected), then such evidence may be admissible at court.
In this state, in determining custody, the court performs a best interests of the child analysis; evidence of an affair is, in general, not considered in this analysis, unless the person the spouse is dating has a criminal conviction history, history of drug or alcohol abuse, history of mental instability, or poses some other sort of harm to the children.
You should schedule an initial consultation with an attorney barred in your state at the earliest opportunity to discuss the facts of your case and your options further.