Will Colorado's Amendment 64 affect child custody matters?

In November Colorado voters passed Amendment 64, legalizing the possession and consumption of limited amounts of marijuana for adults aged 21 or older. Proponents have said that the costs of marijuana prohibition in the state outweighed the benefits but the change in law has left several questions unanswered. For example, how might a parent's legal marijuana use affect child custody proceedings?

There are no clear answers to this question, which may be unsettling for parents. Some may want to use marijuana recreationally, which they are legally allowed to do, but fear that it may affect a court's perception of them in custody determinations. On the other side, some may worry that marijuana could affect a parent's ability to safely supervise their children, or act as a bad influence.

So far, it does not look as if increased marijuana use will lead to changes in the state's family code. Generally, courts make custody decisions based on what is in the best interests of the children involved. The use of marijuana alone will likely not influence those decisions but if excessive use means a parent makes poor decisions or misses appointments it could have an impact.

There are few things more stressful or harrowing than a child custody disputes. For many parents, their children are the center of their universe and the thought of being separated is unfathomable. For this reason it is of the utmost importance to do everything you can to protect your rights when you are engaged in a custody battle.

Consider getting in touch with a family law attorney experienced in matters of custody and parenting time. He or she can guide you through the court process, aggressively fight for your rights and help you pursue the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Source: The Denver Channel, "No laws dictating marijuana consumption in child custody cases," Ryan Budnick, Feb. 27, 2013

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