Ted and Joanna Kramer have been married for six years before she decided to leave him and their son Billy. She believes that she is unfit to continue being a mother and has decided to force her husband into taking care of their child by simply leaving. Mr. Kramer had been ignorant of the depression that has gripped his wife through more than half of their married life because he was too busy with his job. Both father and son were hoping that Mrs. Kramer would come back but weeks turned to months and she would just write letters.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kramer and the child have been able to establish their own relationship and routines. They grew fond of each other and have learned to put more effort in keeping their bond stronger. On the other hand, Mrs. Kramer had transferred to another state and has been undergoing therapy. Upon realizing that she does have self-worth, she decided to come back to work in New York and fight for custody. Mr. Kramer is equally determined to keep the child because he was not sure if his wife was stable enough to really take care of their son.
Recommendation The court must ensure that its decision would be for the best interests of Billy Kramer who is now seven years old. Upon examination of the situation and both parties’ relationship to each other, the recommendation is for both parents to share legal custody of the child. Physical custody shall be solely granted to the father, Ted Kramer. Joanna Kramer shall be allowed visitation rights. Recommendations are based on the following reasons: 1.
Although both parents show great affection for their son, the absence of a caring father at home may be particularly tough for a boy; those who see little of their fathers during their childhoods and have no substitute male presence in their lives may later have trouble making and keeping friends. (Eisenberg, et. al. , 1996, p. 792) 2. Although records from Mrs. Kramer’s psychologist show, her positive response to therapy, approximately six years of depression cannot be solved in merely fifteen months. It would be wise for Mrs.
Kramer to gain more understanding of herself and her own needs before she takes custody of their child. 3. Billy Kramer has already established a daily routine with his father and this has helped this child cope with the distressful absence of his mother. Should the court decide to grant Joanna Kramer full custody, this shall uproot Billy from the lifestyle he has already gotten used to and may affect him negatively. 4. Joint legal custody in this case shall be needed to support the child’s needs. Mrs. Kramer’s salary is higher than Mr.
Kramer’s and Billy would benefit most if both parents can provide his needs financially. 5. The impact of change on the child must be taken into consideration. When parents live far away, it can be hard for children to maintain a feeling of continuity between both of their homes. (Davis & Keyser, 1997, p. 391) 6. In general, custody laws and decisions favor continued and frequent contact between the child and both parents, as well as an ongoing role for both parents in the raising of their children. (http://www. healthline. com/galecontent/child-custody-laws) Visitation rights for Mrs.
Kramer can help Billy feel secure about his family and self. Evaluation has been done to ensure the child’s interest and therefore, the recommendation is for both parents to share legal custody; Mr. Kramer be granted full physical custody; and Mrs. Kramer be granted visitation rights. References Davis, L. & Keyser, J. (1997). Becoming the Parent You Want to Be. Broadway Books New York, p. 391. Eisenberg, A. , Murkoff, H. E. & Hathaway, S. E. (1996). What To Expect The Toddler Years. Workman Publishing New York p. 792. Retrieved May 11, 2007 from http://www. healthline. com/galecontent/child-custody-laws