judge slamming gavelThis is the next post in my series on how a parent’s marijuana use can impact child custody cases in Melbourne, Florida. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible if you are involved in a family law dispute. It is important that you speak with counsel, as opposed to taking matters into your own hands, in order to ensure that you do not harm your case. In this article I will be discussing how Courts view a parent who is in the habit of smoking weed. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a child custody lawyer.

Florida Courts will consider how a parent’s weed use impacts the best interest of the child

Florida Courts focus solely on the best interest of the child when they are considering a custody case. One of the factors which the Court will consider, when determining what is in the best interest of a youth, is the ability of the parent to care for the child. A parent who is impaired, while the youth is in their care, will often be considered unable to provide care for obvious reasons. A parent who engages in marijuana use, when the child is in the care of the other parent, however, may be less likely to be viewed as failing to meet their obligations. How the Court will rule is always going to be based on the specifics of the situation.

Consider the following example. Joe has a medical marijuana card and consumes edibles during the times which he is to care for the child. This means that Joe would be unable to drive the child to the hospital in the event of an emergency. It also means that Joe would likely not be effective at watching the child, being able to help with homework, etc. Under this scenario, the Court may not view Joe as someone who should have joint custody of the child. Now suppose, by contrast, the Joe can show that he only consumes edibles while the child is in the care of the mother. Under this scenario, the Court may be less concerned about the situation. Again, any ruling would be fact-specific.

Melbourne parents must understand the difference between legal and illegal marijuana use

Florida is a state which has not legalized recreational marijuana as of February, 2024. This means that if a parent, who does not have a medical card, tests positive for marijuana then they will be seen as breaking the law. Such a parent may very well tell the Court that they do not smoke weed in the presence of the child. The Court may not view such an argument with credibility and, out of an abundance of caution, may be concerned that the parent is smoking weed around the child. Under such a finding, the Court may rule that such a parent should not enjoy joint custody. In other words, a parent who uses marijuana illegally may be given less leeway by the judge.

I am a Melbourne child custody lawyer who focuses solely on family law. If you believe you need to change child custody then contact my office online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. I strive to provide the highest level of service to each of my clients and I am proud of the level of representation which my office offers. We look forward to speaking with you. We serve clients in Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.