This letter was just submitted to Leon Koziol.Com by Jeff Schneider of Clinton, NY. Thank you Jeff and best wishes with your “fight” to be in your childrens’ life. Our editorial staff supports you 100% and believes no good parent should have to fight to see their children.
What a sad commentary on the pathetic and barbaric manner in which our domestic relations courts are operating under. All those responsible for this man’s pain and suffering should be ashamed of themselves. Do any of you have a conscience?
June 14, 2010 – As Father’s Day approaches, I reflect on my role as both a son and a single father. On January 9, 1992, I lost my father to a rare blood disease at the age of 48. I was 24 years old, at the time this was the most emotionally painful event to have occurred in my life.
Fast forward 18 years. Now as a single father, I am fighting a legal system for every minute I get to see my children. A legal system that justifies a father not seeing his children on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and birthdays. A legal system that limits a father’s time with his children to 12 hours a month. A legal system that relegates a father to a “visitor” and spectator in his children’s lives with obligations but no authority or normal parental rights. A legal system that says it’s okay for the children to miss their family reunion for three years in a row, essentially cutting off the father’s family and making them strangers in the children’s lives.
A legal system, interpreted by a school administrator, that would make it illegal for me as a father to initiate contact with my children outside of scheduled “visitation”, making it a crime to talk to my children or volunteer in their classroom unless requested from the child.
A legal system that views me spending time with my children, going to an event, doing something for their birthday, or coaching their team as insignificant. A legal system that sees the only significant support from the non-custodial parent as material and financial.
My father was not perfect nor am I. Much of the person I am today is because of my father. I coach and give back to the community because of values instilled in me by my father.
Several times in the past few years, since being thrust into the family court system, I have been overcome with that same feeling as when I lost my father. Only this has been over the loss of my children, being torn away by an antiquated court system that gives no credence to a father’s rights to be a parent.
On this Father’s Day I will remember my father and recommit myself to the fight to be the “father” of my children.