Parent’s Cigarette Smoking Can Affect Child Custody
An increasing number of judges are recognizing the dangers to children exposed to secondhand smoke and are factoring in a parent’s smoking when deciding custody issues.
It is well-documented that smoking is bad for your health. Multiple studies have also proven that second-hand smoke is bad for the health of people who are exposed to a smoker’s cigarette smoking. Second-hand smoke has been labeled as a Class A carcinogen. There are more than 40 substances that are known to cause cancer. Second-hand smoke also contains substances that can damage and others human organs and tissues.
The lung growth in children can be affected by second-hand cigarette smoke which can cause pulmonary problems as they get older. Children also suffer from sore throats, headaches, irritated eyes, nausea, and dizziness from exposure.
Children exposed to second-hand smoke are more prone to developing asthma. The more exposed an asthmatic child is to cigarette smoke, the more frequent and severe are their attacks.
The anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) conducted a survey to see just how serious courts are taking the dangers of smoking when deciding custody. The results of the survey include the following:
- There has been court rulings in at least 18 states where judges have written that a parent’s smoking should be considered in child custody cases;
- Courts have issued prohibitive smoking around the child orders in thousands of cases nationwide;
- Courts have issued orders that there be no smoking in the home one to two days before the child comes for visitation;
- Courts have also considered the smoking of other people who will be around the child – including grandparents, family members, and friends when weighing custody;
- No judge has ever issued a ruling stating that cigarette smoking exposure has no bearing on child custody.
Even existing child custody orders can be modified if there is concern over a child’s exposure to second-hand smoke. If you are concerned about the health of your children, such as cigarette smoking when they are with your ex-spouse, please contact an experienced Geneva family law attorney to discuss any options you may have regarding child custody.