Will A Judge Consider A Parent’s Morals In A Child Custody Decision?

Baltimore Maryland divorce lawyerQuestion:

My soon-to-be-ex-wife committed tax fraud and I would like to bring up her dishonesty and lack of morals at our child custody hearing.

Will a judge take into account her illegal acts in a child custody case?

Answer:

I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Maryland divorce and child custody laws where I am licensed to practice.

The court must consider various factors when making a determination in a case where child custody is disputed. The court may consider factors such as the fitness of the parents, the character and reputation of the parties, the requests of each parent and the sincerity of the requests, willingness of the parents to share custody, as well as the ability of each parent to maintain a stable and appropriate home for the child, among others.

These factors are not exhaustive as the court will ultimately make its determination based on what it considers to be in the best interests of the child.

Based on the factors that must be considered, the court may consider evidence which demonstrates a parent’s lack of morality and dishonest character when making its custody determination.

A party may argue that the other parent’s objectionable character and reputation would be harmful to the child because it could set a bad example for the child to follow.

For example, a party may argue that fraudulent and illegal acts committed by the other parent may show the child that these types of actions and behaviors are to be tolerated and thus custody to the other parent may not be in the child’s best interest.

These arguments may be considered by the court if it finds the party’s testimony to be credible or if it determines that there is sufficient evidence which proves the character and reputation of the other parent.

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Parties may obtain evidence which brings into question the other party’s character and reputation by utilizing the discovery process. For example, parties may request that the other party answer Interrogatories under oath. Interrogatories may help elicit answers that reveal the negative character and reputation of the other parent.

The parties may also request that the other parent provide relevant documentation through Requests for Production of Documents. Through this discovery tool, parties may request that specific documents be provided which may reveal evidence of fraud or any other illegal actions committed by the other parent.

Parties may also call relevant witnesses and ask questions whose answers may bring the other parent’s character into question. This testimony may be considered by the court when making its child custody determination.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.

Cordell & Cordell has men’s divorce lawyers located nationwide. To schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney, including Maryland Divorce Lawyer Jeff J. Kim, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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