This is the next post in my series on how marijuana use can impact Arkansas child custody cases. My last article discussed how Family Court judges may view illegal marijuana use. A Court’s primary concern will always be for the best interests of the child and how a Judge views the use of weed will depend on several factors. These include whether the child is being placed in danger, how the child is otherwise doing in school, and other aspects of his or her life. This article will expand upon that discussion by looking at other factors which the Court will consider when one parent is requesting a change of custody. If you have questions about your situation, or need assistance, then contact our Little Rock office today to speak with a lawyer.
Arkansas judges will always make the best interests of a child their primary concern
As stated above, an Arkansas judge’s primary concern will always be for the best interests of a child. When considering what is in a child’s best interests the Court will look at the wishes of the child (assuming he or she is mature enough to make such choices), the ability of each parent to meet the child’s needs, the nature of the relationship between each parent and the child, whether there is a history of domestic violence, and more. If a child is doing well in school, and is displaying no behavioral problems, then a Judge may be more unlikely to change the situation even if a parent has issues when it comes to one of these factors of consideration.
Suppose a parent has primary custody and casually uses marijuana without a valid medical prescription. Now suppose that the child is fourteen years old and is getting good grades in school. The child is also staying out of trouble, participates in school sports, and has a close social circle. Also, suppose the child wishes to continue living with the custodial parent on a primary basis. The non-custodial parent files a Motion to change custody due to the other parent’s marijuana use. In such a situation the court may admonish the custodial parent about their drug use but would be unlikely to change custody. If, however, the child is not doing well in school and is struggling in other areas, then a Court would be more likely to entertain a change of custody. The fact that the parent is illegally using marijuana would weigh against the parent under this latter scenario as it interferes with their ability to care for the child and to meet the child’s needs.
Little Rock parents should contact an attorney if they are concerned about their counterpart’s marijuana use
Contact an attorney if you are a Little Rock parent who is concerned about your counterpart’s marijuana use. Marijuana use alone may be enough to change custody if it is shown that your son or daughter is being placed in danger. Even if the situation is not extreme, the use of pot is a still a factor which the Court may consider in your request to modify custody. By speaking with experienced counsel you can gain a full understanding of situation and be better equipped to analyze your options.
Our Little Rock child custody lawyers pride themselves on providing a high level of service. We promptly return phone calls, quickly reply to emails, and ensure that your needs are met. We understand that this is a stressful time in your life and we are ready to be of assistance. Contact us today. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff, and throughout the rest of Arkansas.