Character and Reputation in a Custody Matter

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines character as one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual. The Maryland Court will determine based upon the evidence presented at trial the good and back character traits of the parents. This determination may have a significant impact on a Maryland custody evaluation if one of the parents has significant character traits which are deemed negative. These can include obvious characteristics as alcohol abuse, drug abuse or violent/abusive behavior. However it can be more subtle, such as financial irregularities, tax avoidance or fraud, or failure to be forthcoming with the court.

Reputation is defined as the common opinion that people have about someone or something: the way in which people think of someone or something. Again, based upon testimony received during trial, the court will determine a person's reputation, both as a parent and as a member of a community. Maryland courts will view a bad or poor reputation as one of the factors which may result in a denial of custody. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media outlets may be used both in support of and against a parent's reputation.

Character and reputation, although only one of the many factors, will play a significant role in a Maryland courts determination of an award or denial of custody. Please contact the Law Office of Nicholas T. Exarhakis to discuss this or any other matter pertaining to Family Law, Custody, Visitation and Divorce in Maryland.

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