Can Marijuana Use Affect Custody and Parenting Time in Michigan?
Michigan custody and parenting time orders are intended to serve the children’s best interests. And many divorcing spouses have valid concerns about how one parent’s alcohol or drug use affects the children.
It’s true that a parent who is drunk or high may not be acting in the child’s best interests and could even pose a danger. However, the recreational use of marijuana is now legal in Michigan.
As a result, the courts are taking a more liberal stance on whether a parent’s recreational marijuana use will affect their ability to take care of their child. Let’s take a closer look at how marijuana use may affect your custody case.
The Importance of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act
The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA) directly addressed custody and medical marihuana use. Specifically, it determined that someone using medical marijuana cannot be denied custody or have their parenting time limited if they comply with state laws and their behavior isn’t posing a danger to the minor child.
That said, persons using medical marijuana may still be susceptible to abusing it. For that reason, the non-marijuana-using parent may still question whether the marijuana-using parent is using medical marijuana for its intended purpose.
The Significance of the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA)
Now that the recreational use of marijuana is legal in the state, the state legislature passed a similar act to the MMMA, the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA). Persons using recreational marijuana can’t be denied visitation or have their custody curtailed unless their actions pose a danger to the child.
Again, though, the determination of whether a marijuana-using partner’s actions endanger the child can be quite subjective. Parents engaged in contentious custody disputes may seize any action of the marijuana-using parent to claim their actions pose a real or present danger to their children.
Will My Marijuana Use Be Used Against Me in a Divorce or Custody Case?
The short answer is that it is indeed likely to be used against you. If you and the child’s other parent cannot come to an agreement about splitting custody, or if the other parent is seeking child support, they may use marijuana use against you, even if you are using it legally.
For example, one parent could argue that you’re spending too much money on marijuana when you should be using it on the child or that your actions are considered to be a danger. For example, if you drive after smoking, the courts may see that with the same censure as drinking and driving.
In these cases, the best defense is demonstrating that you consistently act in your child’s best interests, are engaged in spending time with them, and provide them with everything they need to thrive. Listening to your lawyer always helps, too.
Do You Need Help with Your Divorce or Custody Case?
The skilled family law attorneys at Gucciardo Family Law represent your and your child’s best interests in a divorce or custody dispute. We’re on your side and will use our years of experience and significant resources to defend your interests in mediation or court. Contact us today for a consultation.
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