Posted By Kevin L. Cadora, Esq.
Another hot topic button in family law is whether a parent can lawfully record a conversation between the parent and the child without the knowledge and/or consent of the child or the other parent. The answer is it depends. A communication between a parent and child is likely NOT a confidential communication as defined by California Penal Code Section 632 because parents routinely discuss conversations between themselves and their children with the other parent, healthcare professionals and educators whereby a child has no reasonable expectation of privacy when speaking to their parents.
However, what happens when the child tells the parent that they want the conversation to be kept secret? A child’s request that a conversation be kept secret is a clear indication of the child’s desire that the conversation be confined to just that parent and the child whereby the communication becomes confidential and the recordation of such a conversation and introduction of the recording into court is probably prohibited and maybe illegal. Always consult a competent family law attorney before introducing any recording into court because not only could the recording be excluded, the recording parent could be charged with a misdemeanor pursuant to California Penal Code Section 632.