Now that marijuana is legal in the state of Colorado for recreational use, it’s important to know the effects marijuana use can have on a divorce or child custody matter. People are often surprised when they face harsh consequences that a court orders in a child custody matter solely because of marijuana use (either medicinal or recreational). Under Colorado’s medical marijuana laws, marijuana use for medical purposes may not be used as evidence of child abuse in court; however many courts simply disregard this language.
Marijuana Use and Divorce
Colorado is a no-fault divorce case, and as such a state, drug use by either party usually does not have an effect on property distribution or maintenance. One situation in which it would have an effect would be if a party can show that the other person wasted huge amounts of marital assets on a drug addiction that the other person did not or could not have known about. There are other situations where it may come up such as showing drug use as the main cause that a person was unemployed, which may limit any maintenance they could receive. However, especially relating to marijuana use, all of these situations are very rare.
Marijuana Use and Child Custody
It is much more likely that a person’s marijuana use may arise during proceedings for child custody, as it is much more relevant. Just as a court may view a person who drinks a bottle of whiskey every day around their children as an unfit parent, courts view people who smoke marijuana daily around their children equally. Courts often require drug tests for parents if there are accusations of drug use where parenting time can be contingent on passing those tests. This may cause serious problems for people that occasionally use marijuana not around their children since a person may test positive for marijuana weeks after using the drug. In the worst of scenarios, child protective services can be ordered on a family case and a parent may even temporarily lose custody of their children solely for marijuana use.
As you can see, marijuana use can have life changing effects on your family. If you are involved in a family dispute and marijuana use is an issue, it’s imperative that you consult an attorney to protect your parenting rights. The attorneys at Peter Loyd Weber and Associates, LLC are experienced in family law and its intersections with Amendment 20 and Amendment 64. Call us today for a free consultation at (720)863-7755.