As a former cigarette smoker, an article in the Washington Times regarding smoking and child custody piqued my interest. Below is an excerpt:
States are increasingly factoring in cigarette smoking in making decisions about who gets custody of minor children. The group Action on Smoking and Health, an anti-tobacco advocacy group, surveyed custody issues involving cigarettes and tobacco use.
- In at least 18 states, courts have ruled that subjecting a child to tobacco smoke is a factor which should be considered in deciding custody.
- No judge and no court has ever ruled that subjecting a child to tobacco smoke should be ignored in deciding custody.
- In thousands of cases, courts have issued orders prohibiting smoking in the presence of a child, especially in vehicles.
- In some cases the orders prohibit smoking in a home 24 (or even 48) hours before the child arrives.
- In some cases, parents have lost custody or had visitation reduced because they subjected a child to tobacco smoke.
- Existing court orders regarding custody, visitation, etc. can often be modified if a child is being subjected to tobacco smoke.
- Courts sometimes consider the smoking habits of others who may have contact with the child, such as grandparents, friends, and “significant others” when making custody decisions.
Florida courts, like most family courts around the country, decide child custody issues based on the best interests of a child. As more studies have indicated that there is a link between second-hand smoke, respiratory diseases, and cancer, it is not surprising that courts are taking smoking habits into consideration.
If you have questions regarding child custody and are looking to retain a Tampa Bay child custody attorney, contact The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or by filling out our online form.