Smoking may cut back the chance of kid custody in court docket

Cigarettes do a lot of known harm, but are they harmful enough to take away your children or reduce custody?

We all know that smoking is bad for you and those around you, but it is not so well known that smoking can affect the outcome of a custody case. The main concern is secondhand smoke and all of the negative health effects it can have on a child. It is already difficult and extremely stressful to go to court to deal with a custody case. Anything that can make it worse should be known.

According to the CDC, an estimated 34.1 million Americans currently smoke tobacco products. Smoking kills over 480,000 people a year and while the negative effects are known, people will always smoke and it will likely remain an acceptable habit. The nicotine in cigarettes is extremely addicting, making it easy for many to start and very difficult to quit.

Smoking around children or people who do not wish to smoke is really not ideal. Smoking doesn’t just affect you, it affects everyone around you. If you’re ever in court on a custody case, a smoking habit can work against you. In every custody case, a judge hears each side and then determines the best domestic situation for the child. A home with a smoker may not always be the best choice.

The effects of secondhand smoke

Secondhand smoke, also known as secondhand smoke, occurs when a non-smoker accidentally inhales tobacco smoke from someone else who is actually smoking nearby. While the person around the smoke may not necessarily feel wrong, the smoke can harm them. When a parent smokes with their child in the same room as their child or in the car, that child is essentially smoking and breathing in all of the chemicals in tobacco. Of course, this can cause health problems or exacerbate current health problems. Approximately 40% of children in the United States are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes. It’s the most likely place they’re exposed.

Young children exposed to secondhand smoke can develop:


• Other respiratory diseases such as pneumonia

• An increase in mucus

• To cough

• wheezing


• And an increased chance of ear infections.

Children with asthma are at higher risk of having more frequent seizures. A 2015 peer-reviewed article published in Annals of Family Medicine found secondhand smoke to be “fatal” after detailing the case of two children. These two children had recurring health problems from their parents’ smoking.

RELATED: Smoking While Pregnant Can Impair Girls’ fertility later in life

Woman smokes.  Smoking can affect custody

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A precedent has been set

In a court of law, judges often review similar cases to make decisions about the current cases they are deciding on. In custody cases, the courts have already sided with the non-smoking parents, which means that smoking has been taken into account. Back in 1994 in Tennessee, Mitchell versus Mitchell, a judge, gave his father custody of a six-year-old boy with asthma. His mother and maternal grandmother smoked cigarettes around the child even after being advised not to smoke around them.

In Badeaux v Badeaux, Louisiana, a judge restricted a father’s visitation rights because his child developed asthma and he smoked. There is a very real possibility that custody or time child will be lost to smoking cigarettes. According to family diplomacy, 18 states have considered tobacco when deciding on custody cases.

What can you do?

Parents should all consider being proactive. Quit smoking now, even if there isn’t a custody case in the future, do everything you can to quit smoking. Cigarettes are filled with cancer that causes toxins.

According to Healthy Children, setting some boundaries can help have real children when a parent cannot or does not want to quit smoking. Establishing rules to only smoke outside the home and not in the car are a good place to start. Smoking outside and outside the place where the child lives and eats can make all the difference in a custody battle.

The judge will also consider the people around the child. This would be anyone who is in close contact with the child, such as grandparents, friends, or other family members. If a child has close and frequent contact with someone who smokes, the judge can take this into account when making his decision. In these cases, it helps to limit children’s exposure to cigarette smoke.

READ MORE: How To Know If Parallel Parenting Is Right For You And Your Ex

Source: Healthy Children, CDC, Annals of Family Medicine

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About the author

Larissa Marulli
(331 articles published)

Larissa Marulli has been a home mother for eight years. Shortly before her first child, she received a degree in journalism. The proud mother of two children comes from Colorado and loves the mountains, the changing seasons and hot coffee all year round. Larissa saw it all and struggled with the challenges of motherhood. She gets better with age and takes pride in using the written word to entertain and educate others. Larissa loves books, naps, people in small doses and her family.

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