Friday, July 31, 2015

Single Fathers' Association: Court system needs to change

IF fathers would only be allowed an opportunity to be a part of their children's lives, the crime rate would drastically decrease.

This is according to Rhondall Feeles who formed† the† Single Fathers' Association Trinidad and Tobago (SFATT) last month.

The association is still to be registered and a meeting with Justice Minister Herbert Volney is expected to be held soon.

Feeles said he formed the association because he grew up without his father and feels deprived as he is not seeing his five-year-old son as much as he may want to.

Feeles, 28 , said,

"Most fathers today are those that didn't have fathers . They don't even know how it feels to be a father. I don't want to know that I can't be there at my son's graduation or other special events when he is counting on me to be there. It is like I will be reliving my entire past."

Feeles contacted the president of Lone Father Association Australia (LFAA) Barry Williams, an association instrumental in fighting for changes† in many family†court laws†in Australia, seeking advice.

He said, "This is a time that our system† needs to change. Too many young lives are† being snatched away. Young children, particularly young boys,† need to be mentored† and†young†ladies† need† to experience paternal love†so that they† do not†feel neglected† and less worthy. One of our founding members who is currently a prisons officer working† with the youth at the prison stated†that many of† the† young inmates there admitted that not having a father made it a lot† easier to slip into a life of crime. Some, he said, felt as if they were born at a disadvantage, with the responsibility of becoming† a† man falling†† squarely, and some times too soon, on their†shoulders."

Feeles said, "We believe† that if† the† court† systems were more on a level playing†field and† women stood† just† as great a chance as men of†losing custody of† their† kids and having to pay maintenance, both parties† would† put† aside their past personal issues and focus† on the child's happiness without a court† order having† to be issued.

"The† court† has† now† become† a house† of revenge†for relationships gone†sour. The†time for this to end is† now and fathers and† mothers need to begin cooperating for the sakes of our† children."

He also asked that Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar "look into this matter† because† as† trivial as some may deem† this† issue, our homes have† the greatest impact on what each person becomes in life."