Child custody and visitation privileges are something often decided by the courts based on what they consider to be in the “best interest of the child”. Factors such as a parent’s drug or alcohol abuse has been a long standing factor when making such determinations. Few would argue that a parent with a problem with substance abuse should have visitation privileges that are restricted such that they do not place their child in jeopardy. However, a new trend that courts are considering is whether or not a parent is a smoker and, if so does the parent smoke in the presence of their child/children.
For a child with asthma, the CDC states that second hand smoke is the most common trigger for their asthmatic condition. Research further shows that adults who were repeatedly exposed to second hand smoke as a child result in 3000 deaths from lung cancer and even more heart related deaths each year. Whether you agree or disagree with the courts consideration of parental smoking, it is still a factor that will be considered along with a myriad of other potential factors. Therefore, seeking the advice of counsel before proceeding with a child custody hearing is critically important. At Stiles Law, LLC we take your child’s health and custody extremely serious. Call us to discuss your custody concerns and what can be done on your behalf.