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Can you record custody exchanges?

Custody exchanges can be extremely emotional situations, and it’s not uncommon for things to get out of hand quickly. This particularly true if it’s a high-conflict situation, such as with an ongoing custody battle. While it may seem like videotaping a custody exchange would be a good way to ensure that you have proof of what happened, it can backfire.

In the state of Louisiana, it is generally not allowed to secretly videotape someone without their permission. However, the law states that this true if the video is to be used for “lewd or lascivious” purposes. Recording a custody exchange may not qualify if the only purpose is to have proof to submit to the courts. However, this a gray area that is best to discuss with your attorney.

The laws regarding audio recordings are more lenient. You can record an in-person conversation as long as one party has consented. This means that you could record any conversation with your ex that you are a part of, but you could not record a conversation between your ex and his girlfriend, for instance. Keep in mind that illegally recording a conversation or meeting can come with both criminal and civil penalties.

It’s important to have a full understanding of the laws regarding recordings before trying to gather information or evidence in this manner. If you feel that you need to record custody exchanges to protect your children or yourself, it’s best to talk to an attorney about the details of the situations and any other options you may have.

Source: Daily World, “What does the law say about recording conversations?,” Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz, accessed Aug. 18, 2016

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