Everyone now has the ability to record conversations with their cell phones, and an accurate recording can be good evidence to resolve a dispute about what was said. However, surreptitious recordings are very controversial since they can cause more damage than the benefit of confirming verbal accuracy. It might not be a criminal offense to record a conversation you are part of, but the question is whether secret recordings should be admitted as evidence in family law cases involving children.
Unlike a commercial case, parents must maintain at least a polite relationship forever otherwise their children suffer from the bad conduct of their parents.
A Yukon case, 2019 YKSC 25, reviewed the law including different cases from different Provinces. A 2018 Alberta case ET v GT noted the exclusion by courts had increased the last 15 years which, interestingly, is a similar time line to the growing use of cell phones. A 2014 Ontario case Scarlett noted the general "repugnance" to secret recordings. The 1994 BC case Seddon said secret recordings were an "odious practice". The 2006 Ontario case Hameed noted there was enough "conflict and mistrust" between parents in a family case without worrying about secret tapings which should be discouraged.
A parent wanting to submit a secret recording must prove the relevance and probative value is so compelling that it exceeds the prejudicial harm to the family relationships. How does proving the lie make the future better?