Marijuana is now legal in California for both medicinal and recreational use. But, as the state’s Fourth District Court of Appeals recently explained, that doesn’t mean pot is off limits for courts considering child custody cases.
Mother and Father divorced in 2012, following some 17 years of marriage in which they had four children. “The couple enjoyed a lavish lifestyle during their marriage,” according to the Fourth District, thanks largely to investment income of more than $1 million per year. Mother moved to California with the three youngest kids after separating from Father. He and the oldest child later also moved west.
A trial judge wasn’t pleased with either parent when it came time to determine custody. The judge found that both Mother and Father “lied about important facts” and appeared more concerned about their own needs than those of the children. Although Father appeared to be more involved than Mother in the kids’ lives, the court found that the children were not his first priority. It said Father “involved the children in a destructive loyalty contest by constantly bad-mouthing Mother and referring to her by derogatory terms.” Mother, on the other hand, appeared to relegate most of her child-rearing duties to her employees. The court said she was “not able to put the children’s needs ahead of her personal and social life.”