Frequently Asked Questions

Question
My ex smokes around the children. I think this is bad for them. What can I do?

Answer
You probably can't do a whole lot about your ex smoking around the children. Without a court order prohibiting your ex from smoking in the presence of the children, he or she is allowed to do so. If you can show that his or her smoking is directly harming the children, the court may pay attention, but don't count on it. Most courts consider this to be a minor issue at best.

If you can show that the smoking is affecting the children, you may wish to cite this case:

TENNESSEE: Smith v. Smith, 1996 WL 591181 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 11, 1996).

A case from Tennessee has joined the majority and held that evidence that a father's smoking harmed the child supported terminating the father's visitation rights until he can show the court that he will protect the child from exposure to second-hand smoke. In that case, the evidence showed that the father smoked around the child and that, as a result, the child had sinus problems in the winter and ongoing problems with allergies. Since the evidence showed that the father's smoking had jeopardized the child's well-being, suspension of his visitation rights was not punitive. Smith v. Smith, 1996 WL 591181 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 11, 1996).




S.P.A.R.C.