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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34902
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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Parental responsibility query

Customer Question

I am separated from my child's father and have been for a year. My boy is 19 months old and currently stays with his father two nights a week. This has been working fine however now my ex tells me he is moving in with his brother and expects the same access. This would be fine but his brother smokes like a chimney inside of the house. I do not agree with my children staying there. My ex has told me that his brother won't smoke in the house when they are there but I don't believe it. They stayed there last week and my son came home stinking of fags. I had to bathe and change his clothes. What can I do about this? I don't believe that his brother will stop smoking in the house. We both have PR as he is on birth certificate.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare and I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
Does your son have a weak chest at all?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
He does tend to get coughs if he gets a virus. I had to take him to the doctors today due to a cough and appears he has tonsillitis. He stayed at his uncles Christmas night and Boxing Day night
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Did you ask your ex about this.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes, I have discussed the situation with him. He thinks that I am making a fuss. He thinks it's ok for his brother to smoke in the kitchen when my son is in bed as long as he's not smoking in the house when he's downstairs. The smell from the house was very strong when I picked him up and it was clear that his brother had been smoking prior to my arrival.
Expert:  Clare replied 4 years ago.
Sadly this is not an easy one.
If your son had Asthama the it would be more straightforward - no one could dispute that he should not be exposed at all
As things stand it is less straightforward
I agree that it is less than satisfactory and it is not good for the health of your son.
One option would be to ask your Health Visitor to speak to you both - or even just to him to explain the problems that this could bring.
You should try and discuss this with him using Family mediation.
If you are not able to agree then you may try and withhold contact - but there is no guarantee that the Court will back you if the brother does not smoke in front of the child
Sorry not to give more conclusive assistance - please ask if you need further details