Although it is no longer a crime to use marijuana recreationally, it could complicate your custody case. Before any judge will grant you custody, they will want to know you can provide a safe environment for your child. Some judges will want additional assurance that the child will be safe in your home if marijuana is present. How can you convince them?
What will influence a judge's opinion?
Social stigma around the use of recreational marijuana could influence your spouse's legal team or the judge presiding over your case. Simply because it is legal does not mean it is irrelevant. Additionally, those that might be more understanding toward medicinal users might not look the same way at recreational users.
A judge may take the following into consideration around your unique custody case:
- Self-reported frequency of use
- Marijuana's impact on your daily activities
- Marijuana's past impact on your children or your parenting abilities
- The physical and mental health of both parents
- Any criminal history of both parents
- Any history of drug addiction or alcohol abuse in the family
- The ability for either parent to support and provide for the child
For instance, if you smoke cigarettes or marijuana, knowing your child has asthma, this could be irresponsible behavior. Or, if both parents disagree on how their child should be exposed to marijuana, this could influence the judge's opinion on custody.
Marijuana's legalization is relatively new. Judges are almost always going on a case-by-case basis to make decisions in a child's best interest. This means that there may be no one-size-fits-all defense.
Parents can try to come to a mutual understanding about each parent's use of marijuana in front of the child, just as they would for alcohol or other substances. If you cannot come to an agreement, you may need a strong legal representative to fight for your rights to custody and visitation.