Across the nation, many states are relaxing their rules concerning medicinal and recreational marijuana. At the same time, other states have refused to give in, and so has the federal government. While marijuana use is more socially acceptable than ever, you should be mindful of how it may impact your custody case. Talk to a Greenville child custody attorney for questions or concerns you have.

Is Marijuana Legal in South Carolina?

Marijuana use is illegal in South Carolina. There has been proposed legislation to allow limited possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes. However, the state has not passed such legislation yet. And recreational use of marijuana remains illegal with no real signs of changing. If you smoke or possess marijuana in Greenville, South Carolina, you could be arrested. If you have a pending custody matter, it may affect what the judge decides.

Many parents believe that once they have a child custody order, there is little (if anything) that can change it. It’s easy for parents to become complacent and not worry about having to go back to court. After all, custody matters are trying on both parents and neither wants to fight it. However, if the other parent learns of your marijuana usage, it could be the basis of a motion to modify. Greenville, SC child custody attorneys always caution their clients to be on their best behavior.

What is in The Child’s Best Interests?

The overriding concern in any custody matter is the child’s best interests. How this standard is applied will vary from case to case. But a parent who uses marijuana must acknowledge the possibility that it could be a major determining factor in custody. This is true even if all of the other facts in the case weigh in your favor. For instance, you may have a stable, high-paying job, no history of violence, and sufficient housing for your child. You may even be in a relatively better position than the other parent on all these fronts. Marijuana use could still hurt you.

If the other parent knows about your marijuana use, it’s important to be proactive about it. Always let your Greenville, SC attorney know about facts that could jeopardize your position. There’s nothing worse than having your lawyer caught off guard with information you could have disclosed to them. If the judge learns about any drug use, he or she could order you to submit to a drug test. This can happen even if there’s no pending motion in court, simply because the judge believes there’s evidence of it.

There are cases where a parent goes to pick up a child for visitation while under the influence of drugs. If this occurs in your case, it will have serious repercussions. The other parent may even be justified in refusing to turn over the child, depending on the circumstances. And the other parent may later file a motion to modify custody.

Of course, it doesn’t necessarily take a drug test for the other parent to have evidence of your drug use. Parents always need to be careful about what they say on social media, or to the other parent. If you make posts showing yourself using marijuana (or any other drug), it could come back to haunt you. The same is true if you admit to using drugs to the other parent, or even a third party. Talk to your Greenville, SC child custody attorney about your drug use and whether it may impact your case.


Evidence of drug use will certainly complicate your child custody case. But there could be mitigating circumstances, such as the use of marijuana for only medicinal purposes. Regardless of what type of case you have, you need skilled legal representation. You need the experience of Greenville Family Law. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

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