Satalino v. Satalino

When the Satalinos separated, Ms. Satalino, who smoked cigarettes, moved in with her parents, who were also smokers.  Mr. Satalino then petitioned for custody of their six-year-old daughter, claiming, in part, that he could provide a healthier, smoke-free environment for the child.  He argued that awarding custody to the child’s mother would subject the child to the health hazards of secondhand tobacco smoke.  Ms. Satalino said that a court could not consider the smoking environment of a home in awarding custody.  The trial court found that smoking in a household, like alcohol consumption, should be considered in making child-custody awards.  However, because of other factors, the court awarded custody of the girl to Ms. Satalino.  See “Smoking Parents Lose Points in Child-Custody Case,”  Trial, February 1991, 82.

34 ATLA L.R. 16, N.Y. Nassau County Supreme Court, No. 11440-86, October 10, 1990.