There are many life choices that can impact your child custody case because the court may see those choices as detrimental to your child’s well-being. It can become complex when you talk about the use of legal products.
For example, alcohol is legal, but people often misuse it, which leads to a situation that is not safe and healthy for a child and could impact your custody situation. Cigarette use is a little more complicated because it is legal and abuse is not the concern. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics explains some courts may have concerns about child custody if you smoke.
Best interest and secondhand smoke
The issue with cigarettes is that even if you use them properly, they can harm people around you. There is plenty of research and evidence that cigarette smoke can lead to various illnesses and diseases among people who are around it and do not partake in the habit themselves.
Some people uphold that smoking around children is child abuse because it represents something that puts the child at risk of harm. This could become an argument in your custody case against you having parenting time.
If brought up in court, the judge will consider how your smoking habit will impact your child. The risk to your child’s health may come into play as not being in the best interest of your child, and the law maintains any custody decisions must be in the best interest of the child above all else.
In your defense, the courts are unclear on how to handle this argument. Cigarettes are legal. You have a right to smoke if you want and are of legal age to do so. You also have the right to privacy and to do whatever you want in your own home. You also have the right to raise your child as you see fit. This means the court has to weigh your rights against the best interest of your child to reach a solid legal decision.
There is no clear guideline for smoking and custody. It ends up being completely up to the judge in the case as to how he or she looks at the situation. The bottom line is that smoking very well could impact your case.