While using a tape recorder to catch your significant other in a lie may seem like a fairly simple task, it is important to note that there are certain restrictions on this behavior. North Carolina is a “one party consent” state meaning that at least one person in a conversation must know that it is being recorded. Essentially, this means that it is illegal to hide a tape recorder in the hopes of catching your spouse and someone else having a meaningful conversation. Hiding a voice-activated recorder without being present in the conversation causes a disruption to state and federal wiretapping laws. However, this law does allow you to record yourself and your spouse in a conversation because you know that it is being taped and so have given your consent. One party is aware that the recording is occurring therefore the recording is legal and could be admissible evidence in court. This evidence can be useful in cases dealing with cheating, issues with custody, domestic violence and more.
All this being said, there is one exception to this state law. This exception is known as vicarious consent and refers to recorded conversations between your spouse and your children. If the safety of your children is in question, then recorded conversations involving them, even if you are not there, might be allowed. Since you are responsible for the wellbeing of your children, tape recording may be legal even if none of the parties has given consent. However, there must be substantial evidence proving to a judge that your children were in danger in order to justify the use of a hidden tape recorder.
If you need to speak with an a family law attorney concerning spousal spying, contact Adkins Law to arrange a consultation.