Judges in custody cases have a pretty wide latitude to consider virtually anything that they consider relevant to the child’s best interest.
That could be bad new for Alex Jones, the fiery host of the broadcast show “Infowars.”
The hyperbolic conspiracy theorist has promoted some widely-debunked claims, like the idea that the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting was just a hoax and the “Pizzagate” rumor, which suggested Bill and Hillary Clinton were running a pedophile ring through a Washington D.C. pizza place. His rhetoric is often vile, volatile, and openly suggestive of violence.
His ex-wife thinks that this is a bad thing for the kids to be around and wants the court to award her (preferably) sole custody of their three children.
His attorney says that “Alex Jones the performance artist” is just a persona spouting the rhetoric he supposedly endorses on his show. Alex Jones, the father of three, is supposedly a totally different person.
His ex-wife disagrees. She states that his rantings aren’t just about ratings — that they prove he’s both unstable and unfit as a parent.
His ex-wife has cited numerous examples of his inflammatory behavior that she feels are indicative of his mental state, including things like challenging actor Alec Baldwin to a fight and alleging that former President Obama founded the Muslim terrorist group ISIS.
While the judge in his case has said that she wants to keep the focus on the children and not on “Infowars,” she is allowing clips from the show to be shown to the jury that’s going to decide the case.
One of the issues that could be problematic for the broadcast star is that he broadcasts his show from home where his children are able to watch. While an adult might be able to discern fiction from reality, a child might have trouble understanding that his or her father’s public persona is just an act — especially when he has many true believers who are invested in his theories.
Even if he’s successful in convincing the jury that his act is just an act, his failure to insulate his children from the verbal violence of it might cost him custody.
If you have questions about how your occupation could affect your custody rights, talk to an attorney today. Sometimes advance planning can help avoid serious custody issues later.
Source: CTV News, “'Inforwars' host Alex Jones plays a character, is different in real life: lawyer,” The Associated Press, April 17, 2017