Can You Use A Recording As Evidence In A Custody Case?

cell phoneQuestion:

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 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.

Philadelphia Divorce Attorney Jaimie Collins
Philadelphia Divorce Attorney Jaimie Collins

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.

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,, and, 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 You Use A Recording As Evidence In A Custody Case?

    In regards to recording phone calls for evidence, in my situation, me and son(I have Primary Physical custody) live in Kansas which is a one party consent state and my ex still lives in Pennsylvania….. Can I legally record our conversations based on my state law ?

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