Last month, a 9-year-old girl walked into the police station in Barnesville, Minnesota, and calmly told police that her parents were growing marijuana in the crawl space of their house. According to the girl, the pot made her feel sick, and she was worried about its effect on the health of her dogs.
Police searched the home and found the plants, along with drug paraphernalia, exactly where the girl said it would be. The parents have since been charged with various crimes, while their daughter has been sent to live with her grandparents. Child custody of the nine-year old is now up in the air as she had previously been in protective services in North Dakota because of her parents' indiscretions.
According to police, the girl came off more mature and intelligent than her age would suggest. She took issue with her parents smoking pot in the home every day and blowing it in their dogs' faces. She also complained to police about her parents selling the drugs to strangers in their home on a regular basis.
While this extreme story may not have many equivalents, there are parents across the state that fails to properly care for their kids. Meanwhile, other parents do provide quality care for their children, but see their custody rights challenged for doing so in a non-traditional manner.
These issues become especially pronounced when parents divorce or otherwise split up. While grandparents or other concerned parties may blow the whistle on joint-parenting failures, it is usually a disgruntled spouse that calls out another for parenting inability.
When these disputes arise, it is important for parents to secure the help of an experienced family law expert. Local St. Paul area professionals can help parents point out what situations would be in the best interests of the child, such as sole custody or limited parenting time. Given what is at stake, it is invaluable to have the guidance of an expert who has been through it thousands of times before.
Source: Daily Mail, "Girl, 9, walked into police station and turned in her own PARENTS 'for growing pot' because she didn't like the smell," July 4, 2014