Repost- "Something Has to Change" (originally posted by DaddyYo)

The following is a re post from a fellow "daddy blogger" DaddyYo , who shares the moving story of a Canadian single dad who has been brave enough to represent himself in an effort to gain shared custody of his two young daughters.  The story itself is a call to action for change in the "family court" system in Canada, the U.S., and abroad.  The playing field must be made level and the courts need to catch up with the times and realize we are have progressed into a new era of parenting where the "traditional role" of father has changed significantly and now more than ever, fathers are a critical, essential, and integral part of a child's development. A fathers role is far beyond a check and weekend visit. Bill sharing in his own words:

After 10 years, it was over. My common law wife had left and in doing so, she took my two young daughters ages 4yrs and 5 months. Everyone saw it coming but me; a symptom of my eternal optimism. She just didn’t love me anymore. But my children still did so it was for them that I maintained. Because without them the pain might have done me in.
Two weeks after she took the kids and told me she would not bring them back to the house until I left (Which I did, under the advice of a lawyer) I received her “Offer”. The “Offer” said I could see my children 1 evening a week for 2 hours and every second weekend (with restrictions on my youngest. It made no sense as she was not breastfed but bottle fed). I found it unfair that I was receiving an “offer” to see the two young children I Fathered and loved deeply. Who gave her the right to bargain with our children?!
The Family Law system did. You see, my ex worked for Children’s Aid in Ontario and she knew that the Family Law System would not order a 50/50 Custody arrangement so long as she couldn’t/didn’t want to communicate with me. So here I was, thrust aside just like the rights of my children because I didn’t kidnap them and because I am their Father. I know, I know… I am their Father, but they need to be with their Mother because she’s the nurturer….the caregiver.
Not… so… fast.
I am a new breed of Father, like the ones that you hear about on blogs, the Father that takes time off work to care for his children, the kind that asks for Parental leave (But get’s refused by the Mother) so he can stay home and bond with the children. The kind that gets up in the middle of the night to feed his child and then goes to work 4 hours later. You know, the kind of things Mothers are proud to claim as their turf.
Now before anyone get’s defensive: I’m not a woman hater nor do I hold any animosity towards women because of my experience. You see, I was raised by a single Mom and I used the memories of a violent drunken Father to propel me into the Father I am today. I speak with my Mother every day and have moved on in my life and found someone who shares my love of life and enjoys my children.
My reasoning for this entry is that I eventually went to trial regarding the custody and access of my children. Without any abuse, arguments, or incidents, the Judge ordered sole custody of the children to my ex, and I see them 1 evening a week and every second weekend. I am not allowed to attend any of their activities and can call them only once a week at 7:30am for a 5 minute call.
This is the system which is supposed to rule in the “Children’s Best Interests” and that is the ONLY determining factor for the decision. What I want Fathers to know is that you may have little rights with your children should your relationship break down and your partner decide that they want to make you pay. If the person you married is the person who leaves you, you will not have a chance in court. If the Mother of your children decides you won’t see your children…YOU WON’T. The only way this changes is if the laws change and the perceptions of Fatherhood change.
I know those who are reading this are the fathers who DO make a difference in their children’s lives and who do believe in the importance of both parents actively being involved. What I am hoping to achieve is to open the eyes of all parents, fathers and mothers, to the injustice being allowed to play out in the Family Courts. An antiquated system which still believes that fathers are mere providers and mothers are nurturers. This is not so and the Laws need to change to protect the children’s right to both parents. Perhaps a presumptive shared custody amendment to ensure that no parent can use their children as pawns against the other while the arrangements are made after a relationship/marriage breakdown.
So I am asking all Fathers to stand up and demand that all children’s rights be protected in the event of a break up, whether you have the perfect marriage or not. Tell your MP in Canada or your Representative in the US that all children deserve the right to have a relationship with both parents and that no one should be permitted to hold them hostage from their parents, as a bargaining chip or used as a pawn to commit “emotional terrorism”. The “Children for Cash” Parade has to stop.

Bill is a 42 yr old happily separated Computer Geek. He lives in London, Ontario Canada and enjoys all things Geek, hockey, and raising his two young children. His new life includes a wonderful woman and her two children, Gardening and home renovations. His experience in the legal field through representing himself in court has been trying and eye opening, and he now has a goal to ensure no Father needs to go through what he has.

Best to you Bill.  Good luck in your efforts as you continue to be a champion, advocate, and crusader for fathers AND children's rights. 

Thanks for reading,



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