Marijuana Use and divorce

Marijuana Use and Divorce Proceedings in Ohio: What You Need to Know

Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged process, and when marijuana use enters the equation, it can add another layer of complexity. With Ohio’s evolving marijuana laws, understanding how marijuana use might impact divorce proceedings is crucial for both parties involved. Here’s a comprehensive look at what you need to know about marijuana use and divorce proceedings in Ohio.

Understanding Ohio’s Marijuana Laws

Ohio has legalized medical marijuana, allowing residents with certain medical conditions to use it legally. Recreational marijuana, however, remains illegal. It’s important to understand these distinctions because they can significantly impact how marijuana use is viewed in divorce proceedings.

Example: Jane, who uses medical marijuana to manage chronic pain, is going through a divorce. Her legal use of marijuana is protected under Ohio law, but she needs to ensure her medical use is clearly documented to avoid any potential biases during the proceedings.

Marijuana Use and Child Custody

Child custody is often the most contentious issue in a divorce. Ohio courts prioritize the best interests of the child when making custody decisions. Marijuana use, especially if it is recreational, can be a point of contention.

Example: John and Lisa are divorcing, and John occasionally uses recreational marijuana. Lisa argues that his marijuana use is detrimental to their child’s well-being. John needs to demonstrate that his use does not impact his ability to care for their child, possibly by showing it is infrequent and never occurs in the presence of the child.


  • Documentation: If you use medical marijuana, keep all documentation up to date, including your medical marijuana card and physician’s recommendations.
  • Be Transparent: Be honest about your marijuana use. Courts look favorably on transparency and responsibility.
  • Focus on Parenting: Emphasize your parenting abilities and provide evidence that your marijuana use does not negatively impact your child.

Marijuana and Asset Division

Marijuana use can also influence the division of assets, particularly if there are financial implications, such as expenses related to purchasing marijuana or if one party is involved in the medical marijuana industry.

Example: During their divorce, Sarah discovers that her husband, Mike, has been spending a significant portion of their joint savings on marijuana without her knowledge. This financial misuse could be considered during the division of their assets, potentially affecting Mike’s share.


  • Financial Records: Maintain clear records of any expenses related to marijuana use.
  • Equitable Division: Be prepared to discuss how these expenses impact the equitable division of assets.

Spousal Support Considerations

Spousal support, or alimony, may also be influenced by marijuana use. If one spouse’s marijuana use has led to financial instability or employment issues, it could impact the support arrangements.

Example: Tom’s heavy recreational marijuana use led to job loss and financial instability, making him dependent on his spouse, Mary. During the divorce, Mary argues that Tom’s support should be adjusted considering his employment history and marijuana use.


  • Employment Records: Keep detailed records of your employment status and any impact marijuana use may have had on it.
  • Substance Abuse Programs: If applicable, participation in substance abuse programs can demonstrate a commitment to improving stability.

Legal Representation and Professional Advice

Navigating divorce proceedings when marijuana use is involved can be particularly challenging. It’s crucial to have knowledgeable legal representation to ensure your rights are protected and to present your case effectively.

Example: When faced with accusations regarding his marijuana use, Bob hired a family law attorney with experience in cases involving substance use. This professional advice was instrumental in presenting his case and mitigating the potential negative impact on his custody arrangement.


  • Consult a Specialist: Look for attorneys who specialize in family law and have experience with cases involving marijuana.
  • Seek Expert Testimony: If necessary, expert testimony from medical professionals regarding the impact of marijuana use can be beneficial.


Marijuana use can complicate divorce proceedings in Ohio, especially when it comes to child custody, asset division, and spousal support. By understanding the legal landscape, being transparent, and seeking professional advice, you can navigate these challenges more effectively.

Always prioritize the best interests of your children and maintain clear documentation to support your case. If you have questions and want to learn more, please contact Mishak Law.