06 Jun Movies Our Family Law Clients Can Learn From
We all love going to the movies! This week our Tessmer Tips blog will tell you about some movies we love that are about divorce, child custody and other family law issues.
Kramer vs. Kramer is a 1979 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress. Starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep, the movie tells the story of the divorce of Ted Kramer (Hoffman) whose wife, Joanna (Streep), leaves him and their young son, Billy. Kramer and son have a difficult time, but eventually learn to cope without Joanna and form a tight father/son bond. Fast forward some 15 months and now Joanna is back to claim Billy. A horrific custody battle ensues. Neither parent is prepared for the brutal character assassinations unleashed by their family law attorneys. The court ultimately awards custody to Joanna, deciding that a child is best raised by his mother. However, this is not quite the end.
Kramer vs. Kramer may be dated, but the story is timeless and, even today, not an unusual one. When a couple is in “divorce mode”, civility often gets thrown out the window. In the movie, Ted never says a mean word about Joanna to his son. He keeps his pain and anger at his wife to himself and, even when his heart is broken again and again, does not seek revenge. He simply wants to love Billy the best he can. Joanna is respectful and complies with the rules. She is seen watching Ted and Billy from a distance where they cannot see her. She knows her presence would confuse Billy and she is putting him first. Neither parent tries to make Billy a weapon or a spy against the other. Neither burdens him with their resentment or emotional issues. Ted and Joanna’s love for Billy and their desire to do what is in his best interest is clearly seen at the movie’s ending scenes.
Society has changed so much in the 37 years since Kramer vs. Kramer was in theaters, but the lessons contained in it are everlasting. Children are not pawns. Divorcing parents should protect them and not complicate their lives with adult problems.
Are you considering a divorce or changing a custody arrangement? Tessmer Law Firm, PLLC can help you! Call us today at 210-368-9708 to schedule a consultation. We are your San Antonio family lawyers putting families first!