Ted Kramer
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Ted Kramer

Kramer vs. Kramer

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About Him

Living… in New York with his son. Ted used to live at the office practically until they started dogging him for supposedly not pulling his weight – even when he’s busting his butt trying to be a decent father. Right now, it's just Ted and his boy at home. Ted thinks it's better this way.

Profession… currently unemployed and desperate for work. He doesn’t have a hope in hell of winning custody of Billy if he’s out of work. He was a top advertising executive with a huge new account when they sacked him. His resume shows his experience; his portfolio shows his own fresh approach. Companies should be jumping to hire Ted, but it's Christmas, and no one’s hiring (or quitting) anytime soon.

Interests… meeting with his attorney and preparing for his custody case. You'd think the case would be open and shut since Joanna is the one who abandoned her son. As Ted understands it, “In Haskins vs. Haskins the court ruled in favor of the mother, thus establishing a precedent for awarding the child to the mother even though she previously abandoned the baby.” That's why Ted needs to give it all he’s got in court.

Relationship Status… in tatters. During the last five years Ted and Joanna were married, she was getting more unhappy and frustrated. She needed to talk to somebody. She felt like she was going crazy. Ted couldn't handle it, though, and he became very threatened. They became more and more isolated and distant. His unwillingness to deal with her feelings made her feel like she needed to escape.

Challenge… keeping custody of his son. The problem is, most of what Joanna said about Ted in court was true. He does wish he could go back and do a lot of things differently, but once some things are done, they can't be undone. But just because he wasn't always an attentive father doesn't mean he hasn't become one now, and that's what should matter. As Ted puts it, “Joanna says she loves Billy. I believe she does. So do I. But the way it was explained to me, that's not the issue. Billy has a home with me. I've tried to make it the best I could.” For her to think she can come back and take it all away just isn't right, in Ted’s opinion.

Personality… formerly self-absorbed, but now very responsible. What happened between him and his wife happened. She left him with their son, and Ted stepped up to the challenge: “What law is it that says a woman is a better parent simply by virtue of her sex? I guess I've had to think a lot about whatever it is what makes somebody a good parent: constancy, patience, understanding...love. Where is it written that a man has any less of those qualities than a woman?” Being left alone with Billy has turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to Ted.

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