What you should know if you are a smoker or a concerned parent trying to win custody of your children. In divorce cases where child custody is an issue there are several factors taken into account. Of course the main one is the well-being of the children.
Mom Arrested For Smoking Around Her Kids
A Virginia woman has pleaded guilty to smoking — after being ordered by a judge not to light up around her two children.
Tamara Silvius, 44, had faced 10 days in jail ordered by a domestic-court judge, who had held her in contempt last August.
Silvius shares custody of her children, ages 8 and 10, with her ex-husband. In August 2003, Judge John Thomas of Caroline Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court barred her from smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol around her children as a condition of visitation rights.
As a parent your main concern is your children and if you can’t go without smoking around them or you allow others to smoke around your children you may regret it. The health effects of smoking are numerous and it can really hurt your children. If you are sitting there shrugging your shoulders think again. You may be putting your child custody at risk.
According to ash.org:
- In over 18 states, courts have ruled that exposing a child to cigarette smoke should be taken into account when deciding custody.
- In many, many cases courts have issued rulings that prohibit smoking in the presence of children, especially in vehicles.
- In some cases, parents have lost custody or had visitation reduced because they subjected a child to tobacco smoke
- Existing custody cases can even be modified if the children are exposed to cigarette smoke.
- Courts are looking at what is best for the children and this includes their health.
You have been wanting to quit smoking for so long as it is… why wait any longer? Your child’s health is one of the most important things in your life, and theirs. Smoking isn’t good for any one. If people can turn you in for spanking your child in public why not for smoking around them? The effects of a good swat on the butt only last a moment but secondhand smoke causes life-long medical problems and shaves years off of people lives, even children’s.
Still not convinced:
“Parents who smoke in front of their children may get burned in child custody and visitation disputes.” Lawyers Weekly
“The controversy over whether smokers damage the health of people they live with has found its way into child custody cases — and that’s bad news for smokers.” Wall Street Journal
“This Court cannot comprehend [that] a parent, knowing that their child suffers from asthma and severe upper respiratory infection problems, with four (4) hospitalizations and twenty (20) plus doctor visits in almost two (2) years, and being warned of the danger of cigarette smoking as it affects the child’s asthma as well as the other well-publicized … effects of secondhand cigarette smoke, would continue to [smoke], thereby directly contributing to the misery and suffering this child has had to endure. To do this to a child is no less child abuse than if you had deprived him of food or medical treatment.” Actual appellate court decision.
Please don’t continue to put your children in harms way. Don’t give your ex the ammunition they need to take away your children or limit your visitation. Divorce is hard enough on them so take the initiative and get some help quitting smoking.