Can Recordings And Text Messages Be Used As Evidence?

cell phoneQuestion:

I recorded a conversation with my ex-wife that proves she is putting our children in danger. Can those recordings be used as evidence at an objection hearing? I also have text messages from her that prove she is using drugs and an unfit parent.

Answer: 

Please be advised that I am barred in Pennsylvania and will answer your question based on my experience in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania is a two-party consent state, which means that, if an opposing party or witness was not aware they were being recorded at the time of the recording, the recording is, in general, inadmissible.

Philadelphia Divorce Attorney Jaimie Collins
Philadelphia Divorce Attorney Jaimie Collins

That being said, depending on the circumstances, it may be an option to use a recording to impeach a witness if he or she is providing contradicting statements while testifying.

With regard to text messages opposing party has sent to you, as you were the receiving party to the same, you can introduce the text messages as evidence, once authenticated. Authentication means that you will need to testify to the court that the text messages have come from the opposing party/are associated with her phone number and that the same are true and correct copies which have not been altered.

In this state, if there are concerns as to neglect, child protective services is required to investigate and report whether there are findings.

Additionally, with regard to drug abuse, it is an option in Pennsylvania to request to have court-ordered drug testing for the opposing party. In general, if one party requests drug testing, the court will order both parties to be drug tested.

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 potential options for relief in your state.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer Jaimie Collins, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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Shawn Garrison is an Online Editor for Lexicon, focusing on subjects related to the legal services of customers, Cordell & Cordell and Cordell & Cordell UK. He has written countless pieces dealing with the unique child custody and divorce issues that men and fathers face. Through his work on CordellCordell.com, CordellCordell.co.uk, and DadsDivorce.com, Mr. Garrison has become an authority on the complexities of the legal experience and was a content creator for the YouTube series “Dad’s Divorce Live” and additional videos on both the Dad’s Divorce and Cordell & Cordell YouTube channels. Mr. Garrison has managed the sites of these customers, and fostered the creation of several of their features, including the Cordell & Cordell attorney and office pages, the Dad’s Divorce Newsletter, and the Cordell & Cordell newsletter.

One comment on “Can Recordings And Text Messages Be Used As Evidence?

    Curious, would recordings be admissible in a two-party state (like PA) if the conversation and recording occurred in a one-party state (like VA)? Thanks!

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