Warning about trying to gather your own video evidence in divorce cases


Parents have been warned about the increasing temptation to use film of their children as evidence in custody battles.

A report which appeared in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday revealed that there are a rising number of parents trying to record their sons and daughters using mobile phones or tablet devices.

While they sometimes believe that the footage could offer evidence which gives an advantage over their partners, many in the legal profession have warned such tactics are likely to cause distress to the children and may in fact count against the party during proceedings.

The increasing frequency of cases of parents trying to gather video evidence – sometimes openly and sometimes through clandestine means – has been attributed to the fact that so many families now have recording devices to hand.

But their footage may raise concerns about a child’s welfare and, on occasion, could breach data protection laws – if other juveniles are recorded.

In a notorious case last year, a father lost custody of his daughter after sewing bugs into her school blazer.

Ruling in the case, Mr Justice Peter Jackson said: “It is almost always likely to be wrong for a recording device to be placed on a child for the purpose of gathering evidence in family proceedings, whether or not the child is aware of its presence.

“This should hardly need saying, but nowadays it is all too easy for individuals to record other people without their knowledge.”

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