Divorce Child Abandonment

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A hostile divorce is often characterized by abandonment. Some of the features of this process are a dearth of support, visitation and communication.

Role of custodial parent in Divorce Child Abandonment

The custodial parent (CP) must ascertain that he/she abides by the following in case of abandonment by the other parent.

  • The CP must never demean or degrade the other parent in the presence of the child. This is a rather tough expectation due to the pain and anger experienced by the CP. However, it is mandatory for the welfare of the child
  • The CP must ensure that his/her child thinks that 'he/she (i.e. the child)' is loved and the CP is loves him/her
  • The CP must make it certain that his/her child thinks that the abandonment was not his/her (i.e. the child's) fault. The child must think in the following manner
    • He/She has not driven the parent out of the residence
    • He/She did not do anything that angered the parent

In order to ease the situation for himself/herself as well as the child, the CP must practice the following.

  • The CP must maintain firmness in his/her decisions. Simultaneously, he/she must have a compassion for the feelings and views of his/her child, though they are different from his/her (i.e. the CP's) views. The CP must assist the child to understand that it is quite natural to have different perspectives, but the parent must take the final decision

  • In order to develop a good parent-child relationship, the CP must provide both a 'time-out'. Due to this, both can back away from the present situation and manage it in the future with a fresh approach

  • The CP must always bear in mind that his/her children are not adults. As the child lacks maturity and/or experience, it cannot manage emotions in a manner identical to adults

  • The child is obviously hurt, angry and frustrated. Definitely, the CP cannot be blamed. However, the CP should never blame the other parent while communicating with the child. Instead, the CP should use examples and consistency to enable the child to understand the truth

Impact of Divorce Child Abandonment

After a divorce, a parent might leave the child altogether or simply fail to visit consistently. The parent, taking care of the child, must prepare himself/herself for some strange and unfortunate alterations in such a child's behavior. Some examples have been furnished below.

  • A child might become a 'super achiever.' In doing so, the child hopes that due to these achievements, the parent might return one day. However, this happens very infrequently
  • If the child is not invited to a school party, the child may fall apart
  • If the child's friend moves to another place, the child becomes inconsolable for an unexpectedly long duration of time
  • If the child's pet dies, the child might over react
  • The child might suffer from anxiety of abandonment

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