• Online Stalking and Child Custody
  • October 24, 2017
  • When it comes to determining which parent will be granted physical custody of their child, the court will ask what is in the best interest of the child. Family court judges are granted a great deal of discretion in making the determination, and they usually consider a variety of factors, including whether one of the parents has a criminal conviction. If you have been charged with stalking or domestic violence, even if it involved someone other than your spouse, you should be cautious about posting on social media.

    Domestic Violence

    The character and propensities of a parent are one factor that judges weigh when making child custody determinations. Although any type of conviction speaks to the character of a parent, judges will often weigh a conviction for domestic violence greater than any other factor when making child custody decisions. When reviewing a parent’s conviction for domestic violence or stalking, they will consider who the victim was, the nature of the offense, how long ago it happened, the nature of the sentence, and whether there were multiple convictions or a one-time occurrence. In a contentious divorce, a court is likely to review your interaction with your spouse on social media to determine if it is harassment.

    Anger Management

    If you have been convicted for a crime, such as assault, battery, weapons offenses, or stalking, a court will likely be concerned about whether you have issues with anger management. No judge wants to award a parent custody if they have trouble controlling their emotions and have episodes of uncontrollable rage. In fact, many states now have laws authorizing courts to impose a legal presumption against a parent if their spouse can demonstrate that they have a history of domestic violence. Moreover, courts can consider a parent’s social media posts if it is entered into evidence by the adversary-spouse. The effect of the domestic violence presumption is that a court can assume that you will be a bad parent if your spouse has demonstrated a pattern of criminal or abusive history. Any demeaning or negative posts about the opposite parent on social media could be considered evidence of domestic abuse for purposes of establishing a presumption.

    Restraining Orders

    If you have been issued a temporary or final restraining order for past interactions with your spouse (TRO or FRO), you should not be visiting their Facebook page or interacting with them on social media in any way. If you are a parent who has been victimized by your spouse, you should be vigilant. Sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube can all be considered tools for abusers to gain access to you. If you are in a custody dispute, you should screen shot and save all unwanted posts on your page or direct messages from your spouse you review with your lawyer.

    Towson Child Custody Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Advocate for the Best Interests of the Child in Parent Custody Disputes

    If you are fighting for custody of your child, you know that this may be the most important legal issue you ever face. To learn more about how our Towson child custody lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC can help with your child custody issues, call us today at 443-589-0150 or contact us online. We represent clients in Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County, and in the communities of Baltimore, Towson, Essex, Columbia, Pikesville, and Bel Air.