In this podcast, Karen Covy respond to the 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?”
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Karen A. Covy, J.D. is a divorce attorney and family law mediator in Chicago Illinois . She is the author of When Happily Ever After Ends, How to Survive Your Divorce Emotionally, Financially and Legally (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 2015).
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Read the Transcript of this Podcast Below.
Can I force my children’s father to take responsibility for their upbringing?
Karen A. Covy: The sad truth is you can’t force somebody to be a parent, and that’s true whether you’re divorcing or whether you’re still married. So if you have somebody who has checked out emotionally and doesn’t want to spend time with their kids, there’s not going to be a whole lot you can do to force them to step up to the plate other than to talk to them and encourage them to try to do the right thing.
If your spouse just won’t participate in your children’s lives, then will you need to shift your focus to your children and make sure that they’re okay. Give them the time and attention that they need. And even though it might drive you crazy, try to talk nicely about your spouse who’s checked out.
You’ve got to remember that that person is also your children’s other parent, So you can’t talk badly about them to the children. You’ve got to try to encourage the children to try to deal with the situation as best they can. Maybe they’re going to need therapy To try to deal with the loss of their parents, but as far as getting that other parent to do something that they just don’t want to do, that’s really tough. And unfortunately, in the courts, there’s not much a judge can do either. Think about it: what are they going to do? Throw the person in jail because they won’t see their kids? It’s sad, but there’s not much the court can do.