Judicial gavelThis is the next post in my series on how a parent smoking weed can impact child custody in Melbourne and other parts of eastern Florida. My last article discussed the process of changing custody due to marijuana use. When a parent makes a request to change custody then the matter will often resolve through either a trial or a settlement. Should the matter be litigated, it is important that you have an experienced attorney to represent you. In this article I will address a question that is commonly raised – whether a parent smoking weed in a state where it is legal can impact child custody in our state. If you or a family member are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

The Court’s sole concern in any child custody case will always be to protect the best interests of the youth. If a parent is unable to care for a child, due to inebriation, then the Court will be concerned. With that said, it is unlikely the Court will view smoking weed in a state where it is legal as problematic unless it can be shown that the conduct somehow endangered the child. If, for example, a parent was on vacation with other adults while the child was in Florida with the other parent, then such conduct would not endanger the child. If, on the other hand, the parent who took the child with them on vacation was inebriated and unable to care for the youth, then the Court will likely be concerned. Whether such conduct would rise to the point of actually changing custody, however, would depend on the overall facts of the matter.

If a parent is alleged to be using marijuana on a regular basis and they deny it then the Court may order a series of drug tests. This can be important in situations where a parent claims that their weed use occurred in another state. If drug tests are regularly being returned positive then this will reduce the credibility of any claims that the parent is not smoking weed in Florida. If the Court does find that the parent is smoking weed in our state, then that is one factor the Court will consider as part of any request to change custody. Other factors which the Court will consider include:

  • The wishes of the child (depending on their age and maturity)
  • The needs of the child and the ability of each parent to meet those needs
  • The physical and mental wellbeing of each parent
  • Etc.

If a parent does lose custody for regularly being inebriated around the child then, depending on the circumstances the Court may be willing to order supervised visitation in the matter.

If you or a family member require assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Melbourne child custody lawyer. My office strives to provide quality service and we practice solely in the area of family law. Contact us online or by telephone to schedule an appointment. We also 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.