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Recorded Phone Calls in Family Law Cases

Holding a phone

With the rise of cell phones, apps, and other new technology, lawyers in family law cases are now faced with an entirely new array of challenges. One such challenge is how to handle phone calls which one party records while speaking to the other. In child custody and divorce cases there is a very high level of distrust which often gives rise to instances where people are recording everything that is happening with the other party, and with their children.

The issue with this type of activity is that in Virginia recorded phone calls are not allowed to be used as evidence unless the person being recorded is made aware of that fact. Virginia Code § 8.01-420.2 states clearly that no recording of any telephone conversations shall be admitted into evidence in any civil proceeding unless all parties to the call are made aware that it is being recorded. As a result, otherwise, very valuable evidence is often wasted due to the fact that it is not allowed to be played to the judge. Additionally, in some instances, lawyers who don’t know this rule allow potentially damning evidence to be played, when they could have otherwise had it excluded. In either case, knowledge of the law and its applicability to your case is vital to a positive outcome. The family law attorneys at Bush & Taylor know the law, and they will use it to your advantage.

See what the Virginia Code says about phone calls as evidence: