Child custody disputes are typically heated because both parties feel so strongly about their positions, but for a Pasadena, California, man, his ex-wife took things a little too far. The man alleges that his ex-wife planted a recording device in his 9-year-old son's clothing in order to secretly record conversations in the hopes of finding out something to use against him in their custody dispute.
The man has now filed a lawsuit along with other family members claiming that his ex-wife taped their conversations in violation of wiretapping laws. He is asking for $10,000 in damages for each of the seven people named along with him in the lawsuit as well as other financial awards.
It is unclear what the man's ex-wife was trying to gather by having her child wear a recorder, but she could be in more trouble than she anticipated. The lawsuit also alleges that his ex-wife took the recorded conversations and may have downloaded them onto a computer and may have sent the recordings to others. Besides the violation of state and federal wiretapping laws, the lawsuit alleges invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The ex-wife is a private investigator by trade and has familiarity with these types of recording devices and she may have thought this would help her own suit, which she filed in 2011 to gain full custody of her son.
Investigators are looking into the recordings and will hopefully be able to determine the time, dates and places of the recordings.
While we don't know how this case will turn out, this is an extreme example of how not to build a case to gain full custody of a child. There are options if you want to modify a custody agreement, but there needs to be a valid reason to change the order. For example, a modification of a custody order may be available if there is a major change that affects the child's life, or if a significant change of circumstances makes the original agreement not workable. Only the experience of a Texas Family law attorney understands custody issues and the process used by the Texas Courts to determine child custody.
Source: Chron.com, "Pasadena man's lawsuit claims ex-wife planted recorder on son," Mike Tolson, April 18, 2012