When one parent leaves abruptly

Last night I watched an old movie, Kramer VS Kramer. Have you seen it? In the movie the mother, played by Meryl Streep, decides after 8 years of marriage that she is not happy, fulfilled and fit for her 7 year old son.

The mother leaves

One night she abruptly moves from New York to California and leaves her husband, played by Dustin Hoffman, to raise their 7 year old son alone.  This move was without warning or advanced discussion.  The movie then develops the theme around how Hoffman suddenly becomes a single parent, and learns to juggle home, son and office to rebuild his life and that of his young son.

The mother returns

After an absence of eighteen months, the mother returns, declares herself fit, hires a lawyer and decided she wants her son back.  The movie now develops this theme, and we follow Streep and Hoffman through the courtroom drama of a child custody hearing and the ultimate decision.

And the correct choice is…

What is your opinion?  In the absence of any evidence to suggest neglect, danger or poor care, does  a parent who removes themselves willingly have the right to return after an extended absence and disrupt the life of his/her child and demand custody be returned to them?

Hopefully the best choice is what is right for the child.  What do you think?

Talk soon

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