Naperville child custody attorneyAll over the U.S., individual states are changing their laws around marijuana use, making it legal at the state level even as it remains illegal under federal law. In Illinois, Governor Pritzker signed the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act into law in 2019, changing much about how marijuana is regulated and treated under the law.

Because of this new law, marijuana can no longer be used to discriminate against parents when it comes to custody considerations–with certain limitations. However, stereotypes of marijuana users are still very much a part of society, and bias exists from spouses and judges alike. Here are a few things to consider when wondering whether your or your ex’s marijuana use could impact child custody decisions.

Keep Marijuana Away From Children

Whether it is taken recreationally or for medical purposes, marijuana is a drug. This means that parents should exercise great caution to keep marijuana out of the hands of children. Obviously, this includes marijuana flowers and paraphernalia, but edibles and other candies can be packaged and presented in a way that is especially attractive to children. Child custody battles can be tense even without accusations of allowing access to marijuana, so make it easier on yourself by keeping marijuana away from the kids. You should also plan for your visitation times and avoid marijuana use around your children.

Never Drive Under the Influence of Marijuana

When you get a driver’s license in Illinois, you automatically agree to give an officer a blood, breath, or urine sample if they arrest you with probable cause of driving under the influence. You do not have the legal right to decline without facing penalties including the suspension of your driving privileges. Stay sober–especially if you’re going to be driving. The physical safety of your children is of utmost importance. Beyond that, a DUI charge can be a serious problem in a custody battle, and it is easy for judges and exes to use a DUI charge against you. Marijuana can remain in your system for several days in sufficient amounts to be charged with a DUI, so plan accordingly.

When Excessive Marijuana Use Can Become a Problem

According to Illinois law, marijuana use can be used against a custodial parent if “the person’s actions in relation to cannabis created an unreasonable danger to the safety of the minor or otherwise show the person to not be competent as established by clear and convincing evidence.”

This means that if your marijuana use gets in the way of providing for your child’s safety or other needs, and if the other parent has evidence of this, perhaps based on missing appointments or consistently insufficient supervision, it can be used against you in a custody battle. Use marijuana wisely and keep the best interests of your children in mind.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

If you are facing difficulties in your custody case due to marijuana use, get the help you need by contacting our Naperville family lawyers at Goostree Law Group. We will work with you to help you understand your options under the law and protect your parental rights and your children’s interests. Call 630-364-4046 today for a confidential consultation.



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