My ex-wife is trying to use a tracking device during my parenting time with our son. She has not previously brought up that I have done anything illegal or tried to remove him from our home state or refused any contact with her.
I feel like this kind of monitoring is not only unnecessary, but also unhealthy. Our son has had a difficult time adjusting to our divorce and this seems to send the message that I cannot be trusted. I just want him to be able to adapt to our new family dynamic as smoothly as possible.
What legal grounds does she have to demand such a thing?
Please be advised that I am barred in Pennsylvania and will answer your question based on my expertise and experience in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania is considered a two-party consent state, meaning that as between private citizens, the person attempting to record or track another person must have the other party’s consent or a court order in order to do so. A party’s illegal recording of another can result not only in inadmissible evidence, but also in civil and even criminal penalties in this state.
That being said, a judge may permit such tracking if there are verifiable concerns warranting the same, such as concerns that the parent may leave the jurisdiction with the child without consent of the other parent. If there is no such history of the parent leaving the jurisdiction with the child or written or oral support that he or she may do so in the future, then it could be argued that the tracking is simply for purposes of harassment, which may actually violate the terms of your custody and/or divorce orders.
In this type of situation, when you feel like your privacy is being invaded and your ex-wife is no longer keeping your son’s best interests in mind, it is a good idea to get in touch with a divorce lawyer who can discuss the specific facts of your case and go over your options for further relief.