Skip to main content
(866) 465-5395 Schedule a Consultation (866) 465-5395 Schedule a Consultation

Help Your Family When Your Ex “Divorces” the Children

| |

QUESTION:My husband and I are divorcing and my husband says he doesn’t want to have anything to do with the raising of our children; can I force him to take some responsibility for their upbringing?

When parents divorce, they often argue about who will get custody of the children. In most cases, both parents want to see the children as frequently as possible. Although neither parent wants to “share”, they eventually come up with a custody and visitation schedule that splits time between parents.

But, sometimes a parent decides that he or she no longer wants to be a part of the children’s lives after the divorce. The parent has the right to refuse both custody and visitation. However, he cannot refuse financial responsibility. In Pennsylvania, parents have a legal responsibility to support their children until the age of 18. This financial responsibility is independent of  child custody laws and visitation.

Although the child is still financially supported by the absent parent, the abandonment can be very difficult for a child to understand. It may seem as though the parent is “divorcing” the children.

5 Reasons Why a Parent May Refuse Custody and Visitation

  1. The parent feels that being with the children is not in their best interest. This is often the case when the parent has a serious medical condition, mental health issue or addiction problem.
  2. The parent feels that being with the children will interfere with his or her career, social life or medical condition.
  3. The child has special needs or a medical condition that are too much for the parent to emotionally handle.
  4. The parent feels that the responsibility of having a family has kept him or her from achieving goals and dreams.
  5. The parent is eager to move to a new relationship and does not want to involve the children.

When a parent decides to cut his family ties, the decision has a strong emotional impact on the children. Children may blame themselves or the other parent for the abandonment. They may become angry or withdrawn. They may try to “test” the love of the remaining parent by acting out.

Individual or group therapy can be very helpful when children feel abandoned. The therapist can help you explain the situation to the kids and help the children cope with their feelings. The therapist can also provide guidance as your family moves towards your new future.

Eventually, your family will adjust. But, what will you do if the absent parent has a change of heart?

For assistance regarding family law matters, contact the Philadelphia family lawyers at Petrelli Previtera, LLC.

Client Testimonials

Here's what our clients have to say about working with us. Please note, results may vary based on individual circumstances.

Melinda Previtera, Esq. came highly recommended to our family. Her knowledge base, professionalism, and compassion paved the way for a successful outcome. Melinda is efficient, detailed, and informative. She helps manage expectations, and postures her client for a fair and equitable result. We are happy to recommend Melinda!

Jennifer A.

My experience was very good. Everyone was professional and attentive to my needs, keeping me updated every step of the way. I couldn’t ask for a better result, highly recommended.

David R.

My marriage life has been a hell for me for the past four years until I decided to put an end to what has to be ended. Choosing a lawyer was another additional stressful part of the long process. I’m so glad that I’ve found the right one for me at Petrelli Previtera. Life isn’t always fair, but at least having her in my corner, felt even better. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough!

Caitlin B.

Serving Clients at the Following Locations

Bethesda4800 Hampden Lane, Suite 200 Bethesda MD 20814(301) 234-7409view details
Maryland5425 Wisconsin Ave Chevy Chase, MD 20815(301) 889-8085view details
ChicagoTwo Prudential Plaza 180 North Stetson Suite 3500 Chicago, IL 60601(312) 252-2085view details
Schaumburg1750 E. Golf Rd, Suite 382 Schaumburg, IL 60173(630) 491-9670view details
Texas500 W 2nd St Suite 1900 Austin, TX 78701(512) 883-1684view details
Washington DC1717 K Street NW, Suite 900 Washington DC 20006(202) 519-0366view details
Denver7900 E. Union Ave. Suite 1100, Denver, CO 80237(720) 821-6440view details
Princeton475 Wall St, Suite 214, Princeton, NJ 08540 Meeting Location: By Appointment Only (609) 917 9560 view details
Linwood210 New Road #15 Linwood, NJ 08221 Meeting Location: By Appointment Only (609) 375-0351 view details
Parsippany8 Campus Dr, Parsippany, NJ 07054 Meeting Location: By Appointment Only (973) 310-5320 view details
Philadelphia1845 Walnut Street 19th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19103(215) 523-6900view details
Montgomery County516 DeKalb Street Suite C Norristown, PA 19401(610) 924-2870view details
Doylestown123 N Broad Street, Doylestown, PA 18901(267) 938-4480view details
Abington1147 Easton Road, Abington PA 19001(610) 890-4833view details
West Chester203 W. Chestnut St., Suite 204
West Chester, PA. 19380
(610) 431-4012view details
schedule a consultation Today
Contact Us Fill out the form or call us today (866) 465-5395