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Recording a phone voice conversation

Paterson, NJ |

Is it illegal to record a phone voice conversation?my wife and i and going through divorce and earlier she filed a restraining order,we have a 3 year old son . whenever i call her to talk to my son she use that against me, so someone recommended recording a voice. she lives in NY and I live in NJ. what are the laws ?

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Attorney answers 1


I hope it wasn't your attorney that made that recommendation. New Jersey is a "one party consent" state, meaning it becomes a criminal act to record a conversation with another party unless that other party gives his/her consent. New York is also a one party consent state. This means that you MUST get her consent if you wish to record a conversation that she is part of. That being said, she must get your consent if she ever records a conversation that both of you share.

This is only an Avvo answer. I am not getting paid to give this response and am basing this response only on the information provided to me in the above question.

John Arthur Daniels

John Arthur Daniels


Technically, you could be that one party that gives the consent. That being said, I'd still play it safe and get the consent of that other party.



my lawyer told me that, but i did not realize that untill i found out online that is illegal. please give some more advice if i want to record without her knowing

John Arthur Daniels

John Arthur Daniels


Then I'd listen to your attorney. Federal and state laws of NY and NJ require only one-party consent to the recording and disclosure of a telephone conversation, but explicitly does not protect the taping if it is done for a criminal or tortious purpose, of which your ex-wife's attorney may accuse you of doing so. I don't know if that would stand however (I don't know the facts of the case or your intents of recording). Also, the validity of consent has also been upheld where the party was mistaken about the terms. And that is when consent was given. I would take detailed notes - give date/time details - of every conversation you have. Courts are more inclined to look on that favorably, as they see that you'd be attentive to detail and less prone for errors. Good luck.

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