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In 2019, Governor Pritzker signed the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, making Illinois the eleventh state in the country to legalize marijuana for adult use. The legislation includes many laws, and one of them is the fact that people that use marijuana cannot be discriminated against for their consumption in family court. Unfortunately, many courts have still not recognized this part of the law and continue to discriminate against parents that use marijuana during child custody hearings. If you use marijuana, it is important to know how it may affect your child custody case, and how to prevent it from happening.
Even though marijuana is now legal for adult use in Illinois, it remains illegal under federal law. Perhaps this is the reason why judges and some attorneys remain biased against individuals that choose to use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. It is a difficult stereotype to defeat, even though the image of marijuana users most biased people have is not realistic.
Child custody battles are already some of the most contentious aspects of any divorce. It is not uncommon for one spouse to try and stain the character of the other parent when going through child custody hearings. When that parent uses marijuana, the other spouse may use that information to try and make it seem as though this fact compromises their ability to properly care for their child. This argument is often raised even when the use of marijuana has no impact on a parent’s ability to raise and care for their children.
Marijuana use should never be a part of custody proceedings, but that does not mean revengeful parents will not raise the issue. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent marijuana use from being used against you.
Even when your spouse tries to raise the issue of your marijuana use in child custody hearings, there are ways to show it does not have an impact on your parenting. First and foremost, never use marijuana around your children. If you know that it is your afternoon or weekend with the kids, remain sober and never use marijuana around your children.
Also, keep all marijuana products and paraphernalia in a locked area that your children cannot access. This includes edibles which are often packaged in a manner that is attractive to children and that they may mistakenly eat. By keeping marijuana and paraphernalia out of sight, it limits the possibility of it becoming an issue during child custody hearings.
Lastly, never get behind the wheel of a car after using marijuana. This is a very serious criminal offense and if you are charged with a DUI, your spouse and the family law judge will use it against you, and there is no law saying they cannot.
If you are getting a divorce and have children, child custody is going to be a part of your case. At the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, our skilled Hinsdale child custody lawyers know the arguments that may be used against you, and how to defend against them to give you the best chance of success. Call us today at 630-920-8855 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation so we can review your case.