On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
A family is fighting for the return of their five children after a prolonged child custody case that involves their extended family members and their state of residence. The couple lost custody of their kids after the parents expressed an interest in moving to a nearby state to be able to access legal marijuana for medical use. They have recently received assistance in their family law case from attorneys who specialize in medical marijuana advocacy, and the case has received national media attention, including in Florida.
The couple claims that they have been treated unfairly by the state Department for Children and Families and that the requirements for obtaining the return of their kids have been altered as the case moves forward. It has been more than two years now, and the couple claims that they have not been able to visit or speak with the children in some time. They are faced with a hearing to terminate their parental rights in the coming weeks, although their new legal team may have that hearing rescheduled.
The state Department for Children and Families has had little to say on the matter but did issue a statement to say that they do not remove children from a home due to marijuana use. That suggests that there may be other factors at play in the case. It is unclear whether the children are living with extended family members or being housed in a foster home while the case plays out in court.
Parents who choose to use medical marijuana are often placed in a difficult position in regard to maintaining the custody of their children. Even in states where medical marijuana is now legal, the courts still have to weigh the best interests of the children against the rights of the parents to use the drug. As this matter continues in a family law court, parents in Florida and elsewhere will follow to see how the issue is resolved.
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denver.cbslocal.com, “Couple Fighting For Custody Of Kids Gets Help From Medical Pot Advocates“, Jeff Todd, June 12, 2017