As the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard civil case continues to make headlines, there are things that everyone should be aware of in case similar circumstances occur in their divorce proceedings. Throughout the trial, personal recordings made by Mr. Depp or Ms. Heard have been played to showcase the extent of abuse sustained during their relationship.

While these recordings are disturbing in nature, I want to review the legality of recording another person and using it in a legal case. The laws vary by state, but it is illegal to secretly record someone without their consent in Florida, and it is a 3rddegree felony. Florida is a two-party consent state, meaning it is a crime to intercept or record a wire, oral, or electronic communication without each party’s freely given permission.

Recorded Conversations May Be Illegal

While Mr. Depp and Ms. Heard recordings are not illegal in their state, it is essential to understand that this may not be the case for those located in other states. Recording conversations of an explosive nature like Mr. Depp and Ms. Heard may be helpful in a divorce proceeding to prove fault. However, in a two-party consent state like Florida, those recordings are inadmissible in court. 

Recordings can still be utilized in two-party consent states, like Florida, but only when both parties agree to be recorded. In some instances, people freely consent to be recorded, whereas others vehemently refuse. If you feel your marriage is heading toward divorce and need assistance or answers to questions, speak with a family law attorney who can help guide and protect you from doing something that may end up doing more harm than good. It is dangerous to look to TV court dramas for guidance, so be mindful that laws differ across the nation, and you must, first and foremost, ensure that what you are doing is not breaking the law.

Rebecca L. Palmer, Esq. is a Family & Marital Law attorney practicing in Orlando, FL. She is the Managing Partner of the Rebecca L. Palmer Law Group, and she can be reached at