Is recording my child's telephone calls with the other parent allowed? Under certain circumstances, you can. Most divorce orders have a restriction against listening in on phone calls and require that the child have private conversations with the other parent. If you violate that order you could be held in contempt of court unless you can demonstrate a good faith, objectively reasonable basis for believing that recording the call was necessary to protect the welfare of the child. One party can consent to the recording of a wire, electronic or oral communication pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §§ 17-30-20, 17-30-30. However, it is a crime for a third party to do so. Consent is not required for the taping of a non-electronic communication by a person who does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that communication. The definition of an oral communication is set out in S.C. Code Ann. § 17-30-15. A parent can consent to the recording on behalf of their child in certain circumstances.
Anyone whose communication has been unlawfully intercepted can sue for actual damages in the amount of $500 per day of the violation or $25,000, whichever is greater, and can also sue for punitive damages, costs, and attorney fees.
However, if the communication originates in another state, the recording may be unlawful under the laws of that particular state.
[A]s long as the guardian has a good faith, objectively reasonable basis for believing that it is necessary and in the best interest of the child to consent on behalf of his or her minor child to the taping of telephone conversations, the guardian may vicariously consent on behalf of the child to the recording. South Carolina Recording Case Law.
The court is going to require that you show that the recording was necessary to protect the child, not just to be used for evidence in a custody action. This is going to be a high burden of proof in order for you to avoid any criminal or contempt of court liability.
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