Just because recreational use of cannabis has been legalized in Illinois, its use can still impact child custody proceedings if the child’s best interests are not being served. Take, for example, a case out of Quebec where a judge recently awarded full custody to a father after concluding that a mother’s cannabis consumption came before the interests of their child. The moms heavy use of marijuana, and the fact that both of her children were born with signs of withdrawal despite her doctors advise to not use during pregnancy, led the judge to conclude that her daily and constant consumption of cannabis made her capacity to meet the needs of the children questionable and he decided to award custody to the dad.
Can Marijuana Use Impact Child Custody? Illinois Parenting Time and Responsibility
If you are a parent who uses marijuana and is concerned that your marijuana use may be used against you in an Illinois child custody determination or if you are a parent concerned about the other parent’s use around the children, it is important to remember that the best interests of the child is also the standard in Illinois and excessive or problematic drug use may be a factor in a child custody determination. Is the parent using marijuana in front of the child? Is the child’s age such that he or she might take the drugs for their own use? How is the use of marijuana in the household affecting the child? If it is found that the marijuana use is in conflict with the best interests of the child, the court could certainly take that into account when awarding parenting time and responsibility.
Is Using Marijuana a Case for Child Endangerment?
Adults have a responsibility to ensure a child’s safety and well-being, which raises some of the same questions where marijuana is a concern. Are drugs – legal or illegal – being used in the presence of a child? Does the child have access to the drugs? Does the situation endanger the child’s life, health, welfare? Is he or she being neglected as a result of the drug use? Is it an isolated incident or is drug use an ever present problem? If a parent is putting their child in harm’s way because of drug or alcohol abuse, there may be a case for child endangerment.
Contact an Experienced Illinois Child Custody Lawyer for Help
Despite the fact that recreational marijuana is legal in Illinois, and that a parent’s use alone would not typically tip the scale in a custody determination, if a child’s best interests are not being served parenting time may be affected. If you are divorcing and have concerns about your child’s well being in a child custody proceeding, contact the Libertyville Law Offices of Ronald L Bell LLC for immediate assistance today at 847-495-6000.