Friday, May 06, 2005

Like a soldier

Chris writes from Australia:
I have read your blog and I want you to know that my thoughts are with you. I was a soldier a long time ago. And an Officer. Soldiers do their duty and are prepared to give their lives if necessary for a (hopefully) just cause. It can be a shit job and few thank you.

Fathers are the modern foot soldier. The grunt. Engaged in a war not of their making. But dads like you have spirit and do their duty –to their kids and themselves and to society – despite the hardships and the snipers and the heavy guns of the law and so called family experts. It is a cause for deep despair that the enemy is our own women who once promised to love us for all their life.

I used to tell my troops that their job was to defeat, even kill the enemy but no one was paying them to hate them. That way they could keep true to their soul.

Keep faith George, old son. That your enemy has discarded love and truth and honour is no example for you to follow. I appreciate your sharing of your daily trial. Perhaps a woman might see it and weep for what her sisters do.

Your Friend who understands.
Thanks. I appreciate it. As long as my kids are begging to see me, I will not give up.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just checked out your site. Didn't have enough time to read every article, but I managed to get the high-level synopsis. The family court system is not fair, especially to fathers, although this is *slowly* starting to change.

Shared parenting plans and an emphasis on "co-parenting" and alternative dispute resolution can and (given the right circumstances) will lead to a better comprimise for your kids and your family than most lawyers or judges will give you. However, so many lawyers and parents are so convinced that their way is the "one true way" that they just keep piling on legal fees, obstructing visitation, calling names, acting defensive and alienating their kids from the other parent while still honestly believing that they are doing what is in the "best interests of the child".

My ex will not mediate with me. She wants me to pay the maximum amount of child support and let her have sole descision-making and full custody of our child even though she has no income. From a common sense point-of-view her position seems completely ridiculous. If I, as a father were to try to obtain legal representation for a contested custody hearing in the manner that she has elected to do, I'd be laughed right out of my attorney's office. But here I am getting ready to go to court in a few months against a woman who is using my child support checks to pay off her lawyer and refuses to even try to mediate a solution while all the while putting on a show of pity for the family court and asking the judge to have me pay 100% of her legal fees in addition to her own.

I wouldn't dare go to court against this woman without a competent attorney by my side, but I admire your courage in taking your own case into your hands. Even if you have a competent lawyer, only you can make or break your case in court and your actions solely determine how the judge will see you as a parent.

I know exactly what it is like to have your entire authority as a parent reduced to being a "paycheck daddy" while your ex consistently makes choices that will ultimately have dire conesquences on the development of your kids as they get older. You are doing the right thing by taking a stand. Lawyer or lawyer, you have to fight for your right to be a real parent to your kids.