Is it abandonment if a guy leaves a woman when she's pregnant?

[deleted account] ( 17 moms have responded )

Gilbert ArenasWhen your significant other has a job that takes him on the road, you don't expect him to be around much during your pregnancy. So when does being pregnant alone cross over from "part of the deal" to abandonment?

Laura Govan is known for her tumultuous relationship with Orlando Magic star Gilbert Arenas. But now she's outed Arenas as a bad dad to the Washington Post, claiming he hasn't seen their three kids or attended to the needs of the fourth in her belly, since he was traded to Orlando from the Washington Wizards. If the first part of her claims is true -- he didn't even bother checking in with his kids for Christmas and he hasn't provided any sort of financial support for the family in a month -- he's a jerk.

But then the other bit of information comes out -- the couple broke up. She says he's "abandoned" not just the kids but her too. And that's where she loses us.

Being pregnant sucks for most of us. It would be nice to have the father of your child around, and he should be pitching in to help pay for all of the expenses of pregnancy. But by the time you've gotten around to baby number four, you know what's expected of you. Sleep, throw up, doctor's appointment, lather, rinse repeat. The "help" you need is really with the other three kids, kids who deserve a dad around.

It's "abandonment" for him to not supply that sort of help. But if the two of you have simply broken up while you happen to be pregnant, you, the woman, have not been abandoned. You're just not together.

I hate to break it to you Laura, but it happens. Carrying someone's child does not give us the right to claim a man. He's still his own person, and he's within his rights as a human being to love or not to love. He should want to be there, but you can't force it.

What you can force is his financial support of your pregnancy and your child. If he's an ethical man, hopefully he'll do more than that, even if he isn't "in love" with you. Which is why you should know better than to make a baby with a guy like Gilbert Arenas, a guy who would pull a gun in the locker room and get his butt traded to another city.

But even then, he doesn't owe you; he owes his child. The sooner women learn this, the sooner we'll see an end to all those "trying to trap him" or "trying to change him" pregnancies that crop up among your friend set, and usually end up in divorce.

Is it abandonment if a guy leaves a woman when she's pregnant?

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Sharon - posted on 01/04/2011

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This is a common law marriage.

Simply traveling for his job isn't abandonment. If he has been the financial supporter for the whole family in the past then he has financially abandoned them.

If a certain amount of time goes by and he makes no effort to contact the woman or children, then its physical abandonment too.

If he "leaves" while she's pregnant? Hell my husband left for work every day - that was NOT abandonment.

The question "if he leaves while she's pregnant" doesn't make much sense.

He does owe her if he made promises. He obviously promised something. They've got 4 fucking kids together.

[deleted account]

Would it be a double standard if it was the woman that left the man? Wouldn;t the man be equally "abandoned" by the baby in her belly that he doesn;t have the opportunity to watch grown and develop and be part of the pregnancy? Just playing Devil's Advocate.

Tara - posted on 01/05/2011

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No it's not.
Abandonment of a child is one thing, leaving a woman when she is pregnant is something altogether different. So their relationship failed, happens all the time, perhaps she should have thought about how "good" of a dad he was before she got knocked up again.

[deleted account]

It is abandonment if he vowed to love her and stay w/ her in sickness and in health, blah, blah, blah til death do you part. If he took those vows he is a liar and he abandoned her AND his kids.



If they aren't married.... then the guy is just a jerk (assuming the woman didn't want or force him to leave).



And no, you can't force the financial support. You can get it court ordered, but you can't actually make him pay.... otherwise I wouldn't currently be owed over $16,000. ;)



My response doesn't have anything to do w/ the woman in the op.... just my feelings on this subject in general....

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Cheri - posted on 05/07/2013

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First there is always two sides to every story ladies. Our society is very one sided when it comes to issues of pregnancies and relationships. It is NOT abandonment to you or the pregnancy and I do not care what the guy promised. Now if there are little eyes seeing him leave and he helped make those little eyes then they are the ONLY ones getting hurt here. Every child needs BOTH parents. I agree there are some terrible Dads out there but there is equally as many terrible Moms out there too.
We women have a way of demanding and labeling men for our own self image. We can not stand the thought that we just might be just as bad as he is.
When you have sex outside of marriage you deserve what you get...a hapless relationship that put sex first instead of respect and morals. And if he is still married to some one or you are not divorced from the husband but your boyfriend is the baby daddy well then...stuuuupid to expect anything to go right huh?!
And if the guy is or becomes a substance abuser get ready....he is not going to be able to keep up with any kind of a relationship but the drug of choice.
If only you knew how it sounds when women bad mouth guys to everyone....you sound like a drama queen and your wisdom is sold out for the sake of being the victim.
Why can't women be the bigger person and quit trying to figure out how to get men to act, and if a man lets them down well thats just life and what he sews will indeed catch up with him.
And last but not least, if you are married and the husband leaves you while you are prego and maybe even have kids with him too. Sad indeed because a death of a marriage is terrible. Pick yourself up and pray to your God and do not bad mouth him no matter what he does. God will prop you up and you will get through. There will be better days ahead. We can not control people and God did not make a fail safe plan for marriage for the Woman nor even for the Man.
If I seem harsh I am sorry but I do believe we will stand in judgement for our part in any relationship just as the man will.
We all want to be equal, well we need to walk like we are equal.

Isobel - posted on 01/05/2011

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abandonment is a lawyer trick ...it's a fast track to get the house all to yourself and not half to split half the value...you also get automatic sole custody (I think).

It's not really the term we think of when we think of moral abandonment.



If he didn't call, didn't write, didn't send money for the mortgage or child support (I assume he still owes a certain percentage of the mortgage) then I THINK (I could be wrong) that he meets legal requirements...though, I'm not sure how long you have to be gone.



I know this because my ex's ASSHOLE lawyer made him move back in with me before we started divorce proceedings cause if he didn't I could claim the whole house was mine.

Bonnie - posted on 01/05/2011

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Yes it is abandonment because he is not taking responsibility for something he helped do.

Katherine - posted on 01/05/2011

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In Laura's case what did she expect ? she made babies with him knowing his career *shrug* but yes he should be financially available for his kids but I don't think we are getting the whole story here .
I totally agree.

IMO I think it is abandonment though. He should be just as responsible for that unborn child as she is.
He helped after all did he not?

Petra - posted on 01/05/2011

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If they talked about it and she was aware of what was happening - not abandonment. If he just up & left, then yeah. Its been my experience that some women love to pull the abandonment card even after they've consented to, or even initiated, a break-up. I'm definitely not saying its always, or even commonly, the case, but men in these kinds of situations are often villified regardless of the reasons for or the circumstances of the breakup. Without knowing the full story (and you'd have to be party to the story to know this) its impossible to make a judgment about it.

[deleted account]

I agree w/ that too, Sharon. My ex left for the entire 7th month of my pregnancy (and several other shorter times before that). I didn't consider it abandonment in the least until he came home and told me he was leaving for good.

[deleted account]

some may think that its not abandoning her because having a baby with someone doesn't mean ownership over the person. abandoning the mother cant happen if he is supporting the children apparently. I think your SO can abandon you, even without children involved it happens. If someone promises to be there, and leaves, its abandoning, some others may think separation is just separation and not abandoning eachother. The woman who wrote this thinks laura was not abandoned, we all just disagree with her so far...

Rosie - posted on 01/04/2011

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um, he left, it's abandonment. i don't see what the argument is here, what am i missing? lol!

[deleted account]

Assuming neither party is abusive or a complete jerk..... I place blame w/ whoever did the leaving.

Charlie - posted on 01/04/2011

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Each situation is different as well as the fathers level of involvment , some fathers can leave just their partner but not the child by way of being in their life and paying their share .

There is also the case that the woman relinquishes any of his responsibility .

If a man gets a woman pregnant he owes his share of responsibility to the child not necessarily the mother ( if no longer in love )



In Laura's case what did she expect ? she made babies with him knowing his career *shrug* but yes he should be financially available for his kids but I don't think we are getting the whole story here .

[deleted account]

I think its abandonment because the support is withdrawn. Unless he is just leaving the woman and still supporting the pregnancy and child.

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