Many Alabama parents have done some things they hope their kids never do. Yet, most would like to think they have learned from their mistakes and past actions, and that these past actions do not impact their ability as a parent.
In a divorce, sometimes issues may arise regarding the parents’ conduct when it comes to a custody dispute. Under these circumstances, parents may wonder how their past conduct can impact whether they obtain legal custody of their child.
Typically, under the child custody laws of many states, a court will look at the best interests of the child when determining which parent obtains primary custody. Under this umbrella are a number of factors the court considers, including the parent’s financial and physical ability to provide the child with essentials, the parent’s medical and physical medical history and the parent’s vocation and habits.
On this last factor, courts may look at the parent’s fitness for raising the child, including such things as whether the parent engages in excessive alcohol or drug consumption. For instance, one man recently made national headlines when he went to a custody hearing dressed in a Nazi uniform. The man was seeking visitation of his children, including one whom he named after Adolph Hitler.
It remains to be seen whether the man’s bid for visitation will be successful, but the case highlights how the conduct of a parent can be essential in obtaining custody or visitation of a child. Ultimately, a court does not often decide custody based on just one or two factors, but through looking at all of the factors combined. However, negative or immoral behavior by the parent can surely influence the court’s decision.
Source: New York Post, “NJ dad wears Nazi uniform to child custody hearing,” June 3, 2013