Let’s talk about some of the ways you can prove key facts, protect yourself from false allegations, and stop contention and fighting over parent time in Utah. Recording key communications is a must, whether in print, by text or emails, by recording calls, or keeping a video record.
This blog post is for people going through a Utah divorce. Each state’s laws could be different, so if you don’t live and litigate in Utah, consult an attorney who knows the law for your jurisdiction.
First, let’s talk about written communication. Save individual copies of your email and text message communication between you and your spouse. Don’t just leave electronic communications on your email or cell provider’s server—things can disappear forever without your knowledge. Your ISP or mobile phone service usually doesn’t keep all your electronic communications, and even when they do have a copy, getting a hold of it is night onto impossible, and time-consuming and expensive at best.
If you can afford to print copies of your electronic communications and store them in a safe place (like a trusted family member or safe deposit box), that’s not a bad idea.
If you aren’t sure how to take a screen capture of your text messages, Google the subject and you’ll learn how quickly and easily.
Now let’s cover the basics of how to document your telephone communications and why it’s so important.
In Utah you do not have to disclose to the other person or persons to with whom you are speaking that you are recording a call or a non-electronic communication. You can record a telephone or in-person oral conversation if you are a party to the communication, and if the person recorded does not have a reasonable expectation that the conversation would be recorded.
You cannot secretly leave a recording device behind and record one or more people with the hidden device. Sorry, but you can’t hide a recording under a bed or in an office, at a restaurant, etc. That’s illegal. If you’re not a party to the conversation, you cannot record that conversation secretly.
In today’s surveillance world, it’s hard to imagine how anyone could expect a discussion of parent-time and visitation would not be recorded. Note that you cannot record for the purpose of committing any criminal or tortious act in violation of state or federal laws. Whether you have a smart phone or older phone, an iPhone or an Android, there are options for recording your telephone calls and other oral communications clearly and legally in Utah. Whether you plug your phone into an external recording device or use one of many smartphone apps, you can equip yourself with the ability to record, and do it conveniently, reliably, and inexpensively. A simple search on the Apple Apps Store or GooglePlay for “call recorder” or “call recording apps” will pull up variety of options, and you can pick the one that you like best. If you want to know more about your recording options, I’d be happy to meet with you, just give me call.
Now you’ll notice I didn’t cover how to video record other people legally because that’s the subject of its own video and blog. So for this blog post’s purpose remember: Consistently saving and documenting information to prove what was said (and not said) and when things happened is crucial. In a way, communication that isn’t recorded or documented never happened when it comes to proof in court. If you can’t show what happened from a source other than your own testimony, the court can choose whether it will believe what you claim.
You don’t need to leave things to chance. Frankly, you can’t afford to leave it to chance. Be sure to watch our videos and review our other resources on our website.
Utah Family Law, LC | 801-466-9277