SHOAL Bay resident Keith Lore finds it hard to wake up each day.
Keith has not seen his two small children in just over 18 months since he and his wife separated more than 2 years ago.
He attends court next month for the third ‘mention’ in what he describes as a costly long haul in an attempt to have regular access to his children.
After separation, often the plight of Fathers having relationships with their children withheld from them, goes unnoticed.
In a time where new laws are being passed every day in regards to women’s rights, these Fathers have become the silent minority and yet with numbers increasing every day, they will soon become the majority.
When a couple separates there are countless community support agencies that are designed to help and support the Mother.
Unfortunately it is not the same for the Father’s.
The Child Support Agency documents countless numbers of Fathers who are struggling with child access issues,combined with the heavy financial burden of child support, as being contributing factors to the high suicide rate of many of their clients.
New Domestic Violence laws are now allowing some parents to make bogus claims of abuse in order to restrict access by the other parent to their children prior to family law proceedings.
With these new laws, no evidence is needed to make a claim of abuse or violence.
Once these accusations are put into the form of an AVO, (Apprehended Violence Order) the person who has the AVO against them must defend the accusation in court.
The cost of defending this false charge could cost up to $15,000.
Researchers talk about triggers that lead to suicide suggesting that it takes a number of triggers in someone’s life before they take their lives.
Studies by Griffith University suggest separated men are at higher risk of suicide when the relationship ends.
The current family law system exposes men to these factors
*restrictions to child access
*false allegations of abuse
*access restrictions to property
*increased financial pressure
*contact with law enforcement
*exposure to the legal system
“It has become the ‘norm’ to see injustice perpetrated against Fathers from a clearly biased court system,” Keith Lore told News Of the Area.
Fathers often hear the frequently used statement, “These actions are in the best interests of the children.”
Keith finds it hard to understand how spending time with a child’s Father on a regular basis would not be in the best interest of the child.
“This is a terrible lie used to restrict fathers from fair and reasonable contact with their children,” Mr Lore said.
“The current system is set up to favour the mothers who often manipulate the system to become the custodial parent for either financial gain or simply to maintain a level of control over the noncustodial parent’s life.”
Mr Lore added that there is of course the exception to what he is experiencing, but after spending many hours in the family law court, witnessing other’s journeys, he has found that his story seems to be common place.
“I have put my hope in people like Pauline Hanson and Derryn Hinch to overhaul the current family law court system, things have to change,” Keith Lore said.
Join with campaigns and organisations such as 21Fathers, or Australian Brotherhood of Fathers to help make a difference.
21 Fathers is a social media and public awareness campaign that seeks to highlight the devastating impact suicide has on Australian families who are dealing with family access issues.
Australian Brotherhood of Fathers was created to improve the rights of Fathers and Families, with the understanding that children need equal access to both parents.
By Jewell DRURY