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to expect my ex not to smoke near the children

(32 Posts)
chillistars Sat 25-Jun-11 08:46:27

Both of my children have asthma, when they go to their father's for the weekend he insists on smoking when he is with them.
Am I being unreasonable to stop them going? Would I be able to legally refuse to let them go? They are 2 and 5.

Shakirasma Sat 25-Jun-11 08:50:23

YABU as you have no right to stop them seeing their father for such a reason. Whilst it is not ideal for him to smoke in front of him it is not illegal. Communication is the key here.

Does he smoke indoors in front of them

balia Sat 25-Jun-11 08:51:43

Lots of parents smoke. They don't get their kids taken off them.

zookeeper Sat 25-Jun-11 08:53:10

YANBU at all, especially if they are asthmatic. He shouldn't smoke around them.

zookeeper Sat 25-Jun-11 08:55:26

Actually , you would be within your rights to stop contact if he won't stop smoking in their presence, just as you would if he refused to use car seats etc. Better though to continue to try to reason with him as obviously that would be a last resort

sunshineandbooks Sat 25-Jun-11 08:55:36

YANBU to expect him to put his DC first and not smoke around them when he has them. However, if he is a selfish idiot then YABU if you expect him to take any notice of you. I presume this sort of behaviour is part of the reason he's your X.

I have no problem with smokers. I used to be one and most of my friends smoke. But if your DC have health problems exacerbated by smoking, he is selfish not to stop smoking around them.

No way would a court or social services accept his smoking as a valid reason to stop contact. All you can do is point out to him that he deliberately putting his DC at harm by smoking around them when they have asthma.

tallulahxhunny Sat 25-Jun-11 08:57:17

do you smoke OP?

ZonkedOut Sat 25-Jun-11 08:57:46

Unreasonable to stop them going but not unreasonable to expect him not to smoke in front of his 2 small asthmatic children. I assume you've spoken to him about it, what did he say? How badly asthmatic are they, could it be endangering them?

zookeeper Sat 25-Jun-11 08:58:26

I think if it got to court and her solicitor were to ask for it to be a condition of contact that he does not smoke around the children because of their health then a District Judge might well go with that. Asthma can and does kill.

Shakirasma Sat 25-Jun-11 08:59:00

Was he a selfish smoker when you chose to make there children with him?

DooinMeCleanin Sat 25-Jun-11 09:00:26

Could you ask him to visit the doctors with you so that the doctors can explain to him how damaging his smoking might be to their asthma?

Have ever given any alternatives, such as you can smoke in the yard/garden while the dc are watching TV?

YABU to stop contact over this and if he took it to court a judge would not your decision kindly.

chillistars Sat 25-Jun-11 09:00:29

He has recently started to smoke (after the DC were diagnosed with asthma), when we were together he wasn't a smoker.
at the moment he has said he will not smoke when they are there but we will see what happens when they go next time. I will believe it when I see it.

chillistars Sat 25-Jun-11 09:00:53

no, i have never smoked

zookeeper Sat 25-Jun-11 09:01:16

Good. that's progress Chillitar. Stick to your guns.

zookeeper Sat 25-Jun-11 09:01:46

chillistars even

chillistars Sat 25-Jun-11 09:02:46

no I haven't suggested alternatives. I have not yet stopped contact but I wondered about if i could. One DC has had an asthma attack there when in the house but normally only exercise brings one on.

chillistars Sat 25-Jun-11 09:03:33

no he did not smoke. i would not have been in a relationship with him if he was a smoker

zookeeper Sat 25-Jun-11 09:03:42

I think if you - just once - see an asthmatic child wheezing in a smoky room you might feel very differently

Shakirasma Sat 25-Jun-11 09:05:23

Good news!

If he has them the who weekend then it is very unlikely he can go without smoking. It is an addiction.

A fair compromise would be that he does not smoke indoors. He needs to pop outside for every single cigarette at home, and there is nothing wrong with him having a quiet fag while the kids have a run round the park etc.

PrettyMeerkat Sat 25-Jun-11 09:11:47

He's a twat for smoking around asthmatic children. Don't know what your legal position would be though.

zookeeper Sat 25-Jun-11 09:22:05

It would be drastic to stop contact.

However, if he refused to stop smoking in front of them in confined spaces and you stopped contact as a consequence, he would have to apply for a contact order to see the children.

If you explained to the court the reason why you stopped contact then, whilst you may been seen as rather heavy handed, at least the issue would be addressed. I can't imagine a district judge agreeing that it would be ok for their dad to continue smoking in the same room as them if it affected them adversely. The likelihood is that an order would be made for contact to continue with it being understood and agreed that the dcs won't be unneccessarily exposed to smoke.

Snorbs Sat 25-Jun-11 09:31:12

But a judge just might regard stopping contact because of complaints about smoking as an attempt by the mother to frustrate contact between the children and their father. It would be a very risky thing to attempt I think.

I have heard of a situation where a judge did stipulate no smoking during contact. That was only when the mother had obtained a report from the child's GP stating that smoking was exacerbating the child's existing health problems.

tallulahxhunny Sat 25-Jun-11 09:31:39

Thing is though if he smokes inside when children aren't there his flat/house/whatever will still have the smoke fumes ingrained into everything. I know this because when my children comes back form my ex's house i have to rewash all their clothes and disinfect the children to get the smell of smoke of them and he smokes outside when the children are there!

Why has he started smoking so late in life? is it proper cigs he is smoking or is it dope? i find it hard to understand an older (over 21) person to suddenly start smoking in this day and age.

GoogleBun Sat 25-Jun-11 09:35:12

The problem with a contact order Zookeeper is that court proceedings make everything horribly acrimonious. I don't know how the OP and her ex get on, probably not that great, but if he's already said he'll stop smoking around the children (even if it is just talk) then their relationship is not yet at the point of "F you, I'll do whatever I want" just yet. But I can assure you it will be if this goes to court - I moderate on a divorce forum and see this time and again. The fallout for the kids is devastating.

Also the courts don't take kindly at all to contact blockers. Even cases of DV don't necessarily prevent contact (albeit supervised). I doubt that contact would be ordered only on condition that the ex doesn't smoke around his children - it's not illegal to smoke around kids.

I say this as an asthmatic myself so I do sympathise.

chillistars Sat 25-Jun-11 09:37:44

Normal cigarettes. They are both in the care of the local asthma clinic and were seen because of their asthma getting worse, thus needing an increase in their medication. I will ask them for a report stating that it is not beneficial to their health and get a solicitor to write to him.
He choose to leave us and now he is unhappy, presumably that is why he is smoking now.

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