Dads protest outside court to see their children
TODAY marks 12 months since the last time Adam (not his real name) saw his daughter.
He marked the occasion by staging a protest outside the Family Court in Lismore along with a couple of other dads who have been through lengthy court cases in order to see their children.
"Every adjournment is a sentence for the non-custodial parent," Adam said.
The court has ordered that Adam be given supervised visit with his daughter every fortnight. He drove to Coffs Harbour for these visits on a number of occasions, but the mother decided it was too stressful for their daughter and just stopped coming.
"I don't get any photos, artworks, news from what's happening at school - nothing. She (the mother) ignores everything (the court ordered) and there is no penalty."
Many of the delays in his case are because the judge is based in Townsville and only occasionally put on the Brisbane circuit, which includes the Lismore Family Court.
Adam's story resonated with several passers-by who offered support while The Northern Star was visiting.
"We went through it and everyone came out bitter and twisted. It's a f**ked system," one woman offered.
"So many people, particularly men, have told me not to bother, not to feed the system and the lawyers, to wait until your kid grows up and that they will come back to you then," Adam said. "But I don't want to do that."
One father said in order to be eligible for Legal Aid, he had to give up his job.
Adam has spent so much time studying the legal proceedings of his case, he is now studying law at SCU and one day hopes to be able to help other dads in Family Court matters.