Think YOUR custody battle is difficult? This story broke my heart. Patrick Glynn is a father of 3 children who is currently granted custody for 6 weeks of the year. That’s it. 6 weeks.
I don’t know Patrick personally, and I only know some of the specifics, based on what Patrick has shared with me. I asked him if he was verbally or physically abusive to his children or if he had any addictions, because those are reasons you would think someone would end up with so little custody. Patrick has told me no to both.
To cope with his devastation, Patrick is trying to help others. Read his guest post:
Hi Jackie ,
I’m walking 400 miles, from Boston to Washington DC, because I have some time. Lots of time, since my kids have been taken from me by the family court system.
I started out naïve and thought a divorce could be somewhat peaceful – that is so far from reality. The “family” court process, which is set up to be highly adversarial, destroys lives. Divorce by nature is not an amicable process. After all, if you cannot get along with this person during marriage, odds are that in divorce, when you’re not working as a team, things will be even worse.
When my wife told me she didn’t want to be married to me anymore, I was stunned. We’d had some financial problems, but I could not fathom she would be at the point of throwing away our whole life together with our 3 kids. Like many of us who are blindsided by divorce, I was desperate to find a way to make it work out between us. She didn’t want to work things out, and told the judge I was a deadbeat dad who only spends 7% of the time with our children, while she claimed 93%.
I was dumbfounded. How could she say that when I’d been staying home with our girls since they were little, home-schooled them for a time, cooked their meals, did creative projects with them and generally managed the household? I was confused. Why couldn’t we share custody?
Voluntarily sending support money was trumped by her desire for a new car and so, like so many other fathers, I was dragged into the system because she had the right to put me there. She wanted the divorce. However 4 years later, her lawyers won’t let it end because there’s still money to be had!
Along the way I got smart about a few things:
1. Allowing her mistreatment of me set a poor example to our children. They could actually think it’s OK to walk all over someone because I was letting that happen. No more.
2. Nobody comes out a winner in divorce. Everybody loses – time, money, friendships, home, dignity, freedom.
3. Parenting becomes a competition instead of a collaboration. The kids learn that playing one parent against the other is very effective; not something we generally want to teach our kids.
4. Kids love and need both a mom and dad. Keeping children hostage from one parent is not a solution, and causes lasting damage in everybody’s lives.
I’m taking every step, literally, to reunite parents and their lost kids. Check out walkforlostkids.com, and join me on the walk, or for part of it, or just offer me a couch for the night.
Patrick began his 400 mile walk, “Walk for Lost Kids,” yesterday. It will end on November 14 in Washington DC.
He said his mission is to raise public consciousness about the tens of thousands of parents who, without their consent, don’t see their own children due to court custody decisions.
He is inviting parents who have lost their kids to court custody decisions to join him on any part of his 30 day journey. The walk concludes on the steps of the nation’s capital for a Lost Generation Rally. The capital rally also kicks off the documentary film *Divorce Corp’s Family Law Reform Conference* November 15-16 in Washington DC.
Good luck, Patrick. I hope your mission is helping you cope with your devastating circumstances, and I hope you help others who feel they are victims of a custody battle that ended badly.