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Can You Record Phone Calls in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on June 23, 2021 in Divorce

IL Divorce Law AttorneyDivorce is never easy, but sometimes a divorce can get hostile and ugly things are said between partners. If the conversations regularly become violent, threatening, or inappropriate, a spouse may want to record phone conversations in order to prove to a court that the other spouse is a danger to themselves or their child. 

Often, a spouse will want to record these conversations secretly, out of fear that the offending spouse will clean up their act if they believe someone may be listening. They may worry that the harassment will continue if they cannot prove that the inappropriate actions are taking place.  

Illinois is a Two-Party State

No matter how serious your concerns are about threatening phone conversations, in Illinois, you cannot secretly record a phone conversation legally. This is because Illinois is a two-party state. In a one-party state, only one party participating in a phone conversation of two or more people has to know the conversation is being recorded in order for it to be legal. But in a two-party state, all the parties to the conversation must know and consent to be recorded in order for the call to be legal. 

Expectation of Privacy

Illinois law regarding your right to have a private phone conversation applies in instances where people have what is called a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” This means that in conversations where one party believes or expects their conversation to be private (i.e., it is happening in a home on a cell phone, rather than between two people in a public park), the contents of the conversation may be constitutionally protected. 

What are the consequences? 

Surreptitiously or deceptively recording a private conversation is a felony in Illinois. This means that, in addition to the contents of an illegally recorded conversation being inadmissible in any court case, you can get in serious trouble for breaking this law, including prison time and thousands of dollars in fines. 

Contact a Cook County Divorce Attorney

If you need help proving that your spouse or former spouse is behaving in unacceptable ways, hire a Chicago, Illinois divorce attorney. George J. Skuros has over 30 years of practicing law in Illinois and can help you navigate the complexities of divorce with expertise and consideration. We will help educate you on the law and make sure you understand what to expect. Contact our office today for a free and confidential consultation at 312-884-1222. 






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