Sacramento, CA asked in Cannabis & Marijuana Law, Child Custody and Family Law for California

Q: Can I gain full custody of a child if the other parent has marijuana in the household?

I am a father with a child in the care of his mother in another county. The mother is suspected of drug abuse and grandmother habitually uses marijuana and leaves paraphernalia within child’s reach. Also prior criminal history of drugs, distribution of prescription narcotics, and domestic violence with child in household. What steps do I need to take to obtain custody so I can provide a healthy lifestyle for the child?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, the presence of marijuana in the household is not automatically grounds for changing custody. However, the court’s primary concern in custody cases is the child’s best interest, which includes ensuring a safe and healthy environment. If you suspect drug abuse or that the child is in a potentially harmful situation, this is a serious concern that could impact custody decisions.

To pursue a change in custody, you would need to file a petition with the court. In your petition, you should detail your concerns, including the presence of drugs and paraphernalia within the child’s reach, any history of drug abuse, distribution of prescription narcotics, and instances of domestic violence. It's crucial to provide as much evidence as possible to support your claims.

The court may order an investigation or a child custody evaluation to assess the situation. This could include home visits, interviews, and drug testing. Based on the findings, the court will make a decision that prioritizes the child’s welfare.

You should consider consulting with a family law attorney to guide you through this process. They can help you gather the necessary evidence, file the appropriate legal documents, and represent you in court. Remember, every case is unique, and the court will consider all factors to determine what is in the best interest of the child.

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