Videotaping a Confrontational Ex at Pickup and Drop-off Times


If you dread picking up or dropping off your kids because your ex constantly gives you a hard time, videotaping the exchanges can prompt your ex to act more civilly or give you the evidence you need to get a contempt ruling in family court. You are within your rights to videotape activity in public. Here are the steps you can take:

  • Choose a public place — If your ex has been confrontational, you should have already arranged to make exchanges in a public place, where your ex might feel compelled to adopt good behavior. Exchanging your kids in a public place also means your ex has limited expectation of privacy during the exchange, clearing the way for you to legally record the event. New York is a one-party consent state, so you may even record audio of the exchange because you are a party to it.
  • Notify your ex you intend to record the exchange — This is a courtesy that may prevent the type of emotional outburst you’re likely to get if you blindside your ex. It also signals that you would rather stop the confrontational behavior than gather evidence for a court fight. There is a risk your ex may refuse to participate in an exchange if you tape it, so make sure you have custody of your children when you give notice.
  • Make the taping as unobtrusive as possible — Sticking a video camera in your ex’s face is not going to solve the problem. Using a mounted camera on your car’s dashboard and/or wearing a small body-cam can allow the exchange to happen naturally and still give you the coverage you need.

It is in your ex’s best interests to behave well during a videotaped exchange, but if he or she does not, you’ll have the evidence necessary for the court to deliver a rebuke, cite your ex for contempt, or even issue a new child custody order.

If you are considering divorce, Solutions Divorce Mediation, Inc. can provide the efficient and cost-effective legal services you need. Call us at 1.631.683.8172 or contact our Long Island office online.

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