Can my children and home be taken away if my husband is caught using around us? 11 Answers as of May 18, 2011

My husband smokes marijuana on a regular basis in my parents' home (which we live in). We have two children ages 3 and 8. Will they be taken away from me if he is caught with it and can it affect my parents' home as well? He also has friends come over and they all crowd around in our garage (when my parents are out of town) to smoke their pot (I do not smoke) and I have to try my best to keep my children away from the door to the garage. How can I protect my children, parents and myself from this illegal activity?

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John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
The answer is "yes", child protective services can legally remove the children from your care if they believe the children are in danger. That is not the same as saying whether or not they WILL do so. If CPS gets involved, the first question is whether or not you are negligently allowing the children to continue being exposed to dangerous behavior and whether your husband's behavior can be stopped or moved to somewhere without access to the children. You and your parents need to decide whether to continue tolerating your husband's behavior and risk CPS involvement or to take some action to force him to stop or move out. Your parents have the legal authority to require him to leave. If they won't or if he won't leave, you can file for divorce or a protective order to force him to leave.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 5/18/2011
Harris Law Firm
Harris Law Firm | Jennifer C. Robins
In Oregon, the Department of Human Service, Child Services Division will do assessments on families where one person in the household uses drugs, including marijuana. If they find the children are endangered by this drug use, they can request the family enter into a voluntary services agreement, where, if parent using drugs shows sobriety through drug testing and attends treatment, DHS may close the case on the family. If the family will not make changes, DHS can petition the court to take custody of the children, which could result in the children's removal from the home and the parents. The conduct you describe doesn't indicate a reason why the state would take action against your parent's home, although there is a possibility the house could become the subject of forfeiture. If property is involved in illegal activity, the prosecutor may file a criminal case against the property. If they win the case, they can sell the property and keep the proceeds.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/18/2011
Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
The quick answer is yes. He could be charged with endangering the welfare of the children and because you are aware of it, you could also be charged, the children placed in foster care. This is not a good situation for you or your parents. I suggest that you call to discuss your various remedies, but legal action will probably be necessary, which involves attorney fees and costs. I believe there may be several potential remedies but you will have to be willing to take action.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/16/2011
Beresford Booth PLLC
Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
In Washington State, it is possible CPS will investigate this matter. As to protecting yourself, consider a divorce if the behavior does not cease.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/16/2011
The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
You really need to talk to an attorney. There are some serious problems here, and you need some good advice. Give me a call, make an appointment to come see me, and let's get moving on this for you. No charge for the first office visit. I know people worry about how expensive a lawyer is, so I am careful to be as inexpensive as I can for my clients. Before you spend a dime, you will know how much this is likely to be.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 5/16/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You can contact the police or DCF and deal with the consequences that would come with that or continue to protect them as you have to the best of your ability. You can leave the premises or ask him to leave.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/16/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Engaging in illegal conduct around minor children can result in the children being taken from the parents by Child Protective Services. If your husband won't stop doing this, then perhaps it is time that he move out. If you allow illegal conduct to take place around the children, you may not be viewed favorably by a state agency if they move in to take possession of the children. Also, it is setting a terrible example for the children. Do you want them to grow up thinking that using illegal drugs is alright? As for your question about the home, your parents wouldn't be subject to losing the property unless there was drug dealing taking place at the residence, but that said, you put them at personal risk of being part of a criminal enterprise by allowing your husband and his friend to do this in their home. The best advise I can give is to make it clear to your husband that this conduct is no longer acceptable and if he chooses to continue to smoke marijuana, then he must leave. If you need a family law attorney and are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
    Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
    You can start with trying to talk to you husband about your concerns, and try to reach and agreement. You can set deadlines, or resort to ultimatums. For example, your husband stops smoking marijuana at the house at any time, or moves out. You can call the police or CPS yourself, but the question will be why you permitted the children to be around the environment where the drug use (or marijuana smoking) was taking place. The likely result if the government gets involved (and particularly if CPS opens a Dependency case - a nightmare for all of you, I assure you), is that your husband will have to move out of the house and participate in a 'Reunification Plan'.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Your parents' home is not in jeopardy. Personal use possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor. Your children will not be taken away from you if you are not using and are keeping the children safe. Your parents can put your husband out of their house if they so desire. If you wish, you could file for divorce, however, if your only problem is that he is smoking marijuana in the garage, I know a lot of wives that would love it if that was their only trouble with their husband... You have an array of alternatives available. You should talk to your husband, first. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Call the police. Yes, you can all be implicated. So set the record straight. Will your husband loose his job and ability to contribute to supporting the children if he's arrested for pot use?Get divorced and require regular drug screenings and treatment. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/13/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    While it may be a very sensitive and difficult move, you should try to move out of the home and create a new residence without him. If your husband is caught smoking in the home and the children are around, DCF may get involved and you do run certain risks there. As an alternative, your parents may want to evict him through housing court. Finally, if you are contemplating a divorce due to his issues, this could be used as to why you should have primary residence and as a reason for him to be removed from the home by a family law court.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/13/2011
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