Tonight is the start of the school holidays; I am allowed to pick up my son.  I feel extremely emotional about this, because I know only too well what it feels like when these times come for men who are deprived of the opportunity to spend time with their little ones.

It took a court order to get to this point. What a shame, what a shame on this society, that in order to have a relationship with your child, you need to seek a court order if your ex-spouse is not willing to freely give you access.

I am lucky in the sense that I went to court over a male child.  Do you know if it was a female child under the age of six, my chances of overnight contact are virtually nil? I am somehow classed as a paedophile just because I have separated from my wife and she decides I should not have contact. Yet if she happens to have a boyfriend, he is allowed more access to my children than me. And I have no idea of his background.

Do you know that I was put on a stand and asked, “Sir, do you think it inappropriate that your nine-year-old son sleeps with you? Do you find that inappropriate, Sir?”

“Well, no, I don’t, your Honour. If my son climbs into bed with his dad in the middle of the night because he is scared, because he loves his dad, because we are given a lousy two days every fortnight to have a father/son relationship, because he wants a cuddle, then I’m guilty, your Honour, because I love my son and he loves me.”

Do you readers understand that me even talking about this publicly can result in the withdrawal of my contact orders?

Why are men suiciding in this country at the rate of 5 a day? Yes that’s 5 males a DAY, 35 MALES A WEEK. Sure, they are not all dads in distress, but you can see why many are.

We are stereotyped as angry dads — you can get an idea of why men are angry. We are not even allowed to talk openly about what is happening without the risk of losing what little contact we have, and that’s supposed to be OK — Section 121 of the Family Law Act.

Yes, I get my boy tonight and I have him for the first week of the holidays, and you know I can’t wait. And when I cuddle him or when he climbs into my bed tonight, I’m going to rejoice — you see, we have such a small window of opportunity when our kids want to be with us, and it is that opportunity that fathers worldwide are fighting for.

[Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels]

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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