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How Can a Spouse’s Marijuana Use Affect an Illinois Divorce Case?

Posted on in Child Custody

IL divorce lawyerThough it remains federally illegal, marijuana for recreational use and medical purposes is legal in the state of Illinois and other states across the country. In its fourth month of legality, recreational marijuana still faces negative stigmas surrounding its use. In Illinois divorce cases, spouses may become concerned about how recreational cannabis will factor into the case. In many cases, a spouse’s recreational cannabis use will not significantly affect the outcome of the divorce. However, in some situations, a spouse’s recreational marijuana use may affect certain aspects of the divorce case.

Marijuana Use and Asset Dissipation

Couples who divorce in Illinois must come to an agreement on how their assets will be divided. The only assets that are subject to division are marital assets or those gained by either spouse during the marriage. This can include income or money in savings accounts. Asset dissipation occurs when one spouse uses marital property for their own benefit for a purpose unrelated to the marriage, while the marriage was undergoing an irretrievable breakdown. If a spouse has a habitual and excessive cannabis hobby, the other spouse may be able to claim that the cannabis-using spouse dissipated marital assets to fuel their cannabis use.

Marijuana Use and Child Custody Concerns

If a couple has children during a divorce, they must also come to an agreement as to how their children will be raised after the divorce. Couples with children must come up with a parenting plan that outlines the time that each parent will spend with the child and what kind of decision-making responsibilities each parent has concerning their child.

By default, the court will not consider a parent’s recreational cannabis use to be a factor in allocating parenting time unless the other parent expresses concern. This is similar to the process used concerning a parent’s use of alcohol. If one parent does express concern about the child’s well being while they are with the cannabis-using parent, the court will examine the situation. However, courts cannot restrict parenting time from a parent who uses recreational marijuana unless it is shown that the child’s health or well being would be in danger while with that parent. For example, if the cannabis-using parent is known to be under the influence of marijuana during their parenting time or uses the marijuana in front of their children, this may be cause for placing restrictions on that parent’s rights.

Contact an Elmhurst, IL Divorce Attorney to Discuss Your Concerns

Marijuana use can be a point of contention for many married couples, especially if that couple is going through a divorce. While Illinois residents are technically lawfully able to indulge in recreational cannabis, this can be cause for concern during a divorce. Whether you are a cannabis-using spouse who is trying to protect your rights during your divorce or you are a spouse who is concerned with your spouse’s cannabis use, the skilled attorneys at Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC are here to help. Call our DuPage County divorce lawyers today at 312-605-4041 to schedule your consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/cle/Dissipation.pdf

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=3992&ChapterID=35

 

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