It happens in divorce that one spouse will record another spouse without their knowledge or consent. Or bug their telephone to catch them talking with a lover. Or have a friend or a private investigator secretly listen in.

It is against federal law for a person to listen in on a conversation if they are not a party to the conversation or have prior consent from someone who is a party. It is a federal tort and a civil crime.

Some states have one party laws that let’s you record a telephone conversation if one party agrees. But Maryland is a two party state where both parties have to know that a conversation is being recorded.

And even if you get a taped conversation and don’t get in trouble with the law, it is not admissable in court in your divorce. So if you want to stay out of trouble and use your tape in court, use an answering machine or say at the begining of the call, “Hi, Honey, I’m taping this.”