Mom’s Cooking Could Cost Her Custody

Can what you feed your child be considered child abuse?

Arizona family law attorneys have seen it all.

They’ve seen couples getting divorced in Arizona over disputes with each other. And they’ve also seen families torn apart by domestic violence or child abuse. Sometimes, something as seemingly innocent as a bowl of macaroni and cheese can disrupt a family’s life.

Macaroni and cheese is the quintessential comfort food. Some would argue that their own mother’s mac & cheese is better than anyone else’s.  Curling up with a bowl could be a magical, euphoric experience.  But if the magic is coming from mom’s use of THC butter to prepare it, it could constitute child abuse.

On a tip received two days after the alleged incident, Arizona Child Protective Services removed a toddler who had reportedly eaten mac & cheese prepared by her mom using butter made from THC – –which is “the chemical in cannabis that gets you high”. The woman’s other children were also allegedly removed from the home by CPS.

Reportedly, the toddler “ingested THC butter while eating macaroni and cheese with her father” and afterwards the couple laughed about the side effects on the child, rather than seeking emergency or non-emergent medical care. The mother –who allegedly admitted she used THC butter to make mac & cheese for her husband but didn’t know the toddler ate it – –was reportedly arrested on “one count of child abuse”. According to police, “mushrooms, bongs and pipes, containers of hash oil and other drug paraphernalia” plus additional large tubs of THC butter were found on the premises.

Arizona fiercely protects the rights of its children and uses a “best interest of the child” standard when determining issues like child custody at any time, not just during a divorce. The standard is used when one spouse battling the other for legal decision-making privileges. It’s also used when children are deemed to be in eminent danger in their parents’ care in determining whether another relative or Child Protective Services would be a better placement, even if just temporarily.

If you are considering getting divorced or need help with any other family law matter, including child abuse or domestic violence, Cohen Family Law can help you—though child abuse and domestic violence incidents should first be reported to the police. Contact us today for a consultation.

From our office in Phoenix, we help families in transition throughout Arizona whether through mediation, arbitration, or when necessary, litigation.