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Overcoming spousal absence is in the best interest of the child

The holiday season is a time that is usually full of happy anticipation. For a child whose parents are going through a divorce, it can be less enjoyable, and he or she may find it difficult to cope. This may be made worse if a parent decides to absent himself or herself from the child's life. Residents of California may also find it difficult to cope with the problems associated with an unsupportive spouse, when seeking to do that which is in the best interest of the child.

One may be understandably angry at the abdication of parental concern, but it is best to avoid projecting this onto the child. Doing so can create a conflict of emotions within the child, who may feel as though he or she is expected to take sides. In addition, it may also be seen as ammunition for the estranged spouse to use against the custodial parent in the divorce petition. It may be helpful to vent one's frustrations with a sympathetic friend or family member instead.

If one's spouse chooses to cease all contact, it may not necessarily mean that the other family members feel the same way. Grandparents and other relatives may continue to show an interest in maintaining a relationship. If such an arrangement is deemed to be appropriate to the circumstances, it may assist in reassuring them that they are not being rejected.

Whether one's spouse wishes to be part of the child's life, as a resident of California, both parents still have a legal responsibility toward their child. Seeking appropriate advice and guidance on matters of child and spousal support is in the best interest of the child. This will not make up for the absence of a parent, but it may provide the means to better support one's child at an emotional time.

Source: The Huffington Post, "What I Told My Daughter When She Asked Why Dad Left", Eden Strong, Nov. 15, 2014

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