Feb 7 2012

Smoking in relation to Divorce and Custody

Look, everyone knows that smoking cigarettes is bad for your health.  We all know that it is bad for children to be exposed to second-hand smoke.  I understand that it is difficult to quit smoking.  When you are going through a divorce or child custody case, the last thing on your mind is quitting smoking.  I hear you loud and clear and I would never ask you to quit during your case.   But if you are my client, I will certainly ask you to engage in some real life problem solving though.  Here are some of my thoughts on smoking in your car or in the house.

It is really a bad idea to smoke when your children are in the car for multiple reasons.  The obvious one is the fact that your children are breathing in a ton of second-hand smoke.   Your children don’t need that or want that, especially if they have any level of breathing issues.  In our dry climate, we all have enough trouble with respiratory problems.  The other thing that you may not realize is the smell factor.  If you smoke in your car, even if you try not to smoke when your children are in the car, your car smells bad, like smoke.  The same applies to your house.  This smell permeates the children’s clothes and even their skin.  Children do not want to be the children that smell bad at daycare or school.  They are going through enough challenges without worrying about smelling like smoke.  Believe me, I know as I grew up in a smoker’s house.  I don’t blame my family for that as it was the 70s and 80s so smoking was much more prevalent, but I noticed it and my friends noticed it.  I was embarrassed that my clothes smelled icky and wished that they didn’t.

These issues come up in divorce and custody cases all of the time.  So if you are a smoker and you have not considered it before, now is a good time to make a change for your children and for you.  While it may be too much to quit smoking all together, consider limiting the cigarette smoking to outside areas and in the garage.  I know a lot of people like the electronic cigarettes too.  There are lots of options out there to consider, but whatever you do, please limit your child’s exposure to second-hand smoke.

Posted in: Child Custody, Family, Family Law Posted by: admin


  • 1. Michele Waite Feb 7, 2012

    Great article and very true! Just this morning The Today show posted an article about second hand smoke and the effects it has on children. Here’s a tidbit from the CDC : In the first national estimate of its kind, a report from government researchers says more than 1 in 5 high school students and middle schoolers ride in cars while others are smoking. Of course there’s more to it. It all reinforces what you have said, don’t smoke around the kiddos.

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