Scared child on stairsThis is the first post in a series of articles discussing a parent’s right to seek a modification of an existing custody order due to their co-parent’s use of marijuana in Little Rock, Arkansas. In Arkansas, like many other states, the legal landscape surrounding marijuana use is rapidly changing. While recreational use is still not legal in our state, medical use is permitted for those suffering from certain approved conditions. For now, purchasing, using, cultivating, and dispensing medical marijuana remains highly regulated. The evolving laws and public opinions regarding marijuana use have left many Arkansas parents unclear about their rights when pot is impacting the care and custody of their children. The goal of this series is to provide information about when a parent’s marijuana use may justify a change in child custody. It is important to understand how Court’s may evaluate such requests. Reviewing your case with an experienced attorney can help you understand your legal rights. If you need assistance, contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.

This series will address the following topics:

  • How the Court will potentially view marijuana use in the context of custody modification requests
  • When the Court will consider changing child custody due to a parent’s marijuana use
  • How the illegal use of recreational marijuana may impact custody rights
  • Other factors to consider when requesting custody changes related to marijuana

These are important subjects for many Arkansas parents. Child custody decisions hinge upon what arrangement is in a child’s best interest. When seeking to change an existing order, a parent must demonstrate that the circumstances have changed since the existing order was issued and that the situation no longer serves the child’s best interest. When marijuana use is the primary rationale for requesting a change, parents should understand how the Court may view marijuana use in the context of the changing legal environment. Second, as the lines between legal and illegal use blur, it is important to be aware of what types of activities may justify a change in custody and what may be considered acceptable behavior. Third, when a parent has placed a child in danger by engaging in dangerous illegal activity, the Court may consider changing custody as a result. How this applies to marijuana use will likely be fact-sensitive. It is important to understand how a Judge may view this issue when requesting a change in custody. Finally, there are numerous other factors to consider when evaluating this grey-area of family law. Retaining counsel experienced in custody modification cases is an important first step in understanding your options.

Our firm understands that your child’s well-being is of the utmost importance. We handle family law matters, including custody change requests, and are ready to assist you. Contact our office today to speak to a Little Rock lawyer. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff, and throughout the rest of Arkansas.

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