Q: Can I record mine and my step-child's in person conversations?
The childs father and I are trying for full custody, as we believe the child is being neglected, emotionally and physically. I am currently taking pictures of what I can and writing down everything he says it's happening there. He's not getting fed, and he's rarely in clean clothes. He usually wears the same clothes from the day we drop him off to the day we pick him up. CPS has visited her home and they gave her 30 days to clean up and pass a secondary inspection, which she did. Would it benefit our case to record some of these conversations?
A: Utah law only requires one party to the conversation be aware a recording is being made, so, yes, you may legally record the conversations with or without his knowledge. As far as helping your case, requesting the appointment of a guardian ad litem would probably be more advantageous than your recordings. A guardian ad litem is a non-attorney volunteer who will be the child's neutral advocate during court proceedings. It is helpful to have an outside party privately speak with the child and report their findings to the judge.
If you truly believe the child is the victim of abuse and/or neglect, you should file a petition for a child protective order. See https://www.utcourts.gov/abuse/child.html for the forms you need or seek the assistance of a licensed Utah attorney practicing in Cache County.
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