The Uninvolved Parent After Divorce
Key Points
  • There may be drugs or alcohol that is keeping the non-custodial parent away, but whatever the reason, this non-involvement should be addressed. The child needs both parents and it is in the best interest for the child.
  • Divorce for the child is one type of loss, losing a parent because the parent is no longer involved with the child makes divorce double difficult. Make sure you stay involved in your child’s life no matter how hard you believe it is.
  • Do not desert your child just because of a divorce. Your child still needs you in his or her life.

Unfortunately the statistics show that after a divorce and/or separation has taken place that a large percentage of the non-custodial parents become at least partially uninvolved in the life of his or her child. Parental desertion can be caused by many different things, so it is tough to actually provide a perfect remedy for getting the uninvolved parent back on track.

Your child can overcome the trauma of losing a parent, so long as you continue to provide as much positive support as possible. Look to friends and relatives for any extra support you and your child may need. The experience of divorce and/or separation is tough enough on your child, let alone losing a relationship with a parent he or she loves. Do not expect to completely replace the shoes of the uninvolved parent, but keep working as hard as you can to do so!

Strategies and Tactics for the Uninvolved Parent:

  • Try to figure out what is causing the other parent to be uninvolved. Is it drugs/alcohol? a new relationship? health reasons, etc.?
  • If you can narrow in on what the reason for the non-involvement is, try to reason with the non-involved parent, but be sure to always keep your child's best interest in the forefront of all decisions.
  • Do not criticize the estranged parent for not being involved. Criticism will only drive him or her father away. Do everything you can to say positive things to reinforce that your child wants him or her to be a part of the child's life.
  • Do not get down on yourself for not being able to do the job of two parents. If you allow yourself to get down, you will only be postponing your child's recovery.
  • Read a few books on "Single Parenting". This will give you a lot of helpful tips that you won't have to learn the hard way. There are so many great resources that will help you save time, energy, and money for your child.

Useful Online Tools

Suggested Reading
Creating a Successful Parenting Plan Creating a Successful Parenting Plan
This extraordinary book and computer disk offers separating or divorcing parents a sure-fire way to create a workable, practical parenting plan/agreement that is in the best interest of their children.

Author: Jayne A. Major, Ph.D.

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