Returning home late from work one night, a career-obsessed Ted Kramer is told by his wife, Joanna, that she is leaving him. After a lifetime of being "somebody's wife," she's going off to find herself, leaving Ted to care for their six-year-old son. Ted, while trying to hold down his job, gets to really know his son as few fathers do: cooking his meals, taking him to the park, understanding every need and fear. For the first time in his life he feels like a fulfilled parent. But then Joanna returns--and she wants her son back.