Is it legal to document conversations during child custody disputes?

Date: Jan 26, 2016

In child custody disputes, parents, guardians and other important people can say one thing and do another. While there is a range of reasons why this may occur, these emotionally straining interactions can have a major impact on your child custody agreement. 

In response, you may wish to keep a record of these interactions, by having a third-party like a family lawyer present at any meetings, by saving digital communications like emails and possibly recording conversations. While this is a good idea, you must make sure any type of recording is within the law. So what conditions makes recording legal?

New South Wales law and recording audio conversations 

This area of law is highly complex because it typically depends on the parties involved, where this evidence will be applied and how it was obtained. 

For instance, Police must follow a very specific set of rules when recording evidence in an effort to bring it to court. 

Individuals are restricted from recording and publishing a private conversation with another party without consent. Section 11 of the Surveillance Devices Act 2007 specifically outlines the prohibition and directly mentions listening devices, optical surveillance devices or any sort of tracking device. 

Is there any time when someone can legally record a conversation?

While there are prohibitions in place, there will be times when you can record a conversation. For one, you can record a telephone call or other form of conversation if the other person is aware and consents to the recording. Nevertheless, before you engage with any activities in relation to audio recording, make sure you seek the advice of an experienced family lawyer

Yet, while someone could be found guilty of illegally recording a conversation and communicating it to a third party, Judges can and do consider the use value of the evidence. 

What should I do?

While it might be tempting, for example, to keep an audio record of the interactions you have with a former partner, it is still a complex area of the law. Instead, you should make sure that all the interactions you have with a party in a child custody dispute are in the presence of an experienced family lawyer.

A child custody legal specialist can help you find a solution or resolution without documenting conversations with other parties. Through mediation or legal action, you can achieve your goals and find an agreement that fits you, your child and the other parties involved. 

If you would like to know more about the types of legal action available to you, talk to the experts in family law. Contact Craddock Murray Neumann Lawyers today