The Attorney General has released a discussion paper on Family Law Reform. Take the time, read it and put a submission in to: www.ag.gov.au
Think about parallel parenting. Why can’t it work here?
We are coming up to Christmas. Many dads won’t be seeing their kids for Christmas — someone else may be handing out their presents from under the tree this year.
While you are having Christmas dinner or while you are handing out the presents to your kids, spare a thought and give them an extra hug from us.
Just because you’re a divorced or separated dad, doesn’t mean you’re any less a dad.
The domestic violence campaign has been rammed down our throat in television, print, etc., and rightly so. Any decent dad abhors domestic violence, but little has been spent on domestic violence perpetrated against men.
It’s a violence that is often overlooked, that is often unspoken because of the stigma, because of the disbelief, because of the John Wayne theory of I’m tough, I’m a man, I can handle it and yet in reality, I am just too ashamed to admit that I am the one who was abused.
And while we are on the subject of violence and abuse, what could be more violent or abusive than to deny a dad his own children.
We go to war over our children every day in the family law court of Australia. Every day someone loses. Mostly it’s our children.
Do you realise as a male, as a father in Australia today, the moment you separate from your wife for whatever reason — could be she has just found another love, could be he has, could be any reason. If you as a male wish to see your children and your wife doesn’t wish you to, then you need to get orders. And quick. You need to seek out a lawyer, unless you are brave enough to represent yourself.
Basically, if your wife doesn’t want to give the children to you, even fortnightly access, you have got buckley’s, until you get into the court system. And then the normal is every second weekend and half the holidays if you are lucky. We know this can be work in reverse, but once in court, we also know what will happen.
You know we have a small window of opportunity when our children want to spend time with us. It’s a time when they don’t need to make choices. They love both mum and dad. Divorce or separation affects all around it. They will grow up too quick. Before long, they will be seeking their own independence. Before long, they will want to spend their time with mates or girlfriends or boyfriends, rather than mum or dad.
It’s this small window of opportunity we are fighting for in this family law reform. Don’t let it pass without having your say. Don’t tear another child away from his or her dad.
[Photo by Mike Arney