Non Custodial Parenting profile
Non Custodial Parenting
Non Custodial Parenting
All the stuff you’ll later wish that you knew. By the dad (and daughter) that learned it the hard way. So that you don’t have to.
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Non Custodial Parenting

About author and this site 

I am a dad. I am also run a charity for non custodial parents, and I volunteer suporting In 2001 I was separated from my then 5-year-old daughter by marital breakdown. For the best part of the following 11 years, and despite my best efforts to the contrary, I was kept from caring for and from my daughter by family court order. There was no legitimate ground for doing so. It's just the way it works and I am far from alone; this phenomenon happens to many thousands of dads (and some mums too) each year in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. That 11 years of being kept from my daughter saw my life pulled apart through financial decimation, loss of my family and most importantly, the unnecessary destruction of our daughter's childhood. Today my daughter lives with me full time and we have a great life together. The differences between myself and her mum are resolved and little more than a historical footnote. We all get along and her mum and I co-parent our now 20'something. She will always be our daughter, no matter how old she is, no matter how old we are. There is hope and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. For the longest time though, I did not think it possible to resolve the issues and I almost resigned myself to never again seeing my daughter. I almost gave up on her, and even on my own life. Those struggling to see their kids will understand that. Looking back, there was so much I did not understand or know how to handle. Today, when I work with struggling on-custodial parents, I'm often asked how I managed to get through it all, and how I resolved things. Thats what this project is about. Sharing the wisdom that comes from surviving this journey, and turning it around into something positive. I'd say, almost anyone can do that no matter how hard it looks. Here's how. 

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Non Custodial Parenting
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Happiness = Reality - Expectation

Having too high an expectation, and finding that reality cannot match it is a sure fire way to drive crushing disappointment. 

In my experience, most non custodial parents embarking on this journey have overly optimistic expectations of the system. As reality hits home, that crushing disappointment starts to kick in and can, if you’re not careful, drive you into the ground.

One of the best ways to protect yourself, and by extension your kids, is to manage your expectations. Be realistic. Make a plan that takes into account the real world, and you’ll find that surviving the difficulties is far less difficult. Simple examples I hear you ask?

Police: The police enforce the law, criminal law. Not civil law. Fanmily law is civil law, so, generally speaking, the police cannot get involved unless one or other parent is getting angry (i.e. doimestic violence). They can intervene where theres a disturbance of the peace, or to issue a DV related intervention order. So if you're expecting them to sort out non adherence to your family court made 'contact order', they won't, unless you get angry at them or the other parent, then they intervene. Knowing this, keeps you out of trouble. Having a go at the police, when they can;'t help you, but can make a report of your abusive behaviour towards them, is worth thinking about. 

Family courts: Family courts follow procedural steps; they do not deliver justice. It doesn't much matter who's right or wrong, the only thing the court does it follow process that is designed (imperfectly) to protect the best interests of the child. Using the courts and following their process, maybe even helping them to get the best interest bit right, gets you significantly further ahead than pushing them to punish the 'ex' for being nasty to you. They can't do that and it only annoys the judge. Sooner or later, you get this. Too often, after tou've bankrupted yourself finding out, which suits your lawyer wanting their next holiday to the bahama's right down to the ground. 

I could give plenty more examples, and will i later subscriber posts. For now, sit back, relax, take time to assume the worst, plan for that scenario, then enact your plan. One step at a time. Manage toyr expectation and you do not end up being dissapointed. For my part, the day I got this, was the day I started walking out of court not crushed by my latest failure to overtturn a terrible situation, but pleased that I'd ticked off another step closer to where I'd decided I was going to get in 5 years and qo court visits later. See the point? Changing your perspective, managuing your expecation, changes everything. It turns a continual and crushing negative into a positive and proactive plan taken one step at a time.

TIP: Find, befriend and talk it through with peers, especially those further down the road than you. They are uniquely positioned to help develop a clearer perspective.

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