I have just returned from Sydney, where we have opened several DIDs groups over the past couple of weeks. It never ceases to amaze me, the guys I meet along the way. Absolutely awesome dads who, although they struggle on a daily basis to see their kids and hold down a job, they volunteer some personal time to help other guys who may be struggling as well. It’s awesome to see, and very humbling from my perspective.

It’s Father’s Day, and I wanted to give you an upbeat happy story — unfortunately, I cannot. You see, we still have dads and their kids being denied the fundamental right to have a relationship with one another. Why? Simply because our kids have become a cash cow in most cases. Simply because we have lawyers more interested in the almighty dollar than people. Simply because we have judges who seem to think a father should have as little to do with his children as possible. I just don’t understand it.

Recently, I put out a story about one of our guys who is in the courts for a final hearing, with 67 breaches against his former partner for not allowing access. The judge said that the breaches needed to be dealt with first, but to continue fighting it, the lawyer wanted another $5,000 upfront to continue.

Our guy rang me and said, “Tony, I simply don’t have any more money. It’s already cost me $40,000 to get to this point. I cannot go on. If I have any more time off work, I won’t even have a job.” His story is just one of thousands. If we could put the money spent on lawyers into trust accounts for our kids, they would be set for life.

Have we gone mad?  The guy is simply a dad who wants to continue having a relationship with his children. What don’t we understand about that? This is 2005 — a supposedly enlightened age, and here we are playing out World War Three in the Family Court of Australia.

Every meeting we open, we hear from dads who often don’t walk in, but crawl in. Their legs have been cut from beneath them, and they struggle. They struggle to hold on to their children, they struggle to hold on to a job, they struggle to hold onto their sanity, they struggle to hold on to community and most of all, they struggle to hold on to life.

For those dads out there where this isn’t your weekend, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Please — while you possibly enjoy this Father’s Day with your family, please take the time to think about all the dads out there who for whatever reason are without their children this Father’s Day, and if you are lucky enough to have your children, please give them an extra kiss from those of us who haven’t.

[Image: Zhanna Danilova/BigStock]

About the Author: Tony Miller

Tony Miller was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in the 2010 Queen's Birthday honors list 'For service to the community through the provision of support services for separated families'.

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