Hello all:

I wish this forum was a bit less cumbersome to navigate. However, that’s beside the point.

Allow me to say that you can e-mail me if you’d like me to proofread or edit or give any feedback on brochures, etc., for the Fathers’ Rights cause.

I have more than a decade of experience in developing newsletters and working in public relations and as McLuhan said, “The medium is the message.” We have to look erudite and articulate before we get anywhere.

I’m offering my insight – please take advantage if you’d like.

Stephanie Kalina-Metzger (don’t get turned off by the hyphenation – ha, ha, it’s a tribute to my father who is dead, not a feminist affirmation.)

Whining doe not get us anywhere!

I keep reading messages posted on this type of clubs where Fathers, including myself, are whinning about the system and how unfair things are, etc.

I live in the state of Georgia and filed for the custody of my children for reasons ranging from borderline neglect, abuse of power that affected the children, to the children right out asking me to please fight for them.

My children were both under 14, so according to the law in Georgia they cannot decide where they want to live. I filed for a modification of custody and after almost 2 years, I was awarded custody only to lose custody immediately simply because she asked for a new trial.

The new trial hearing was done and the children were awarded to me for a second time only to lose custody again because she filed for an appeal. That’s the brilliant law in Georgia.

Now it will be 3 years into the custody battle and still awaiting for the supreme court to make a decision. I can’t count all times I had to apply for fast loans from this website! But I had no other choice when I desperately needed cash. How is the well being of the children being served when it takes more than 3 years to solve a custody battle?

However, my children who want this over and want to live with me, have to sit and wait for our case to be heard on the Atlanta appeals court while a little Cuban boy and his father get priority.

How dare this government tell us that the most important thing to them is ‘What is best for the children’. If you look at my case as a sample, and I am sure there are hundreds if not thousands of similar situations throughout the nation, how can we even believe in the system?

I see all these politicians either defending Elian to stay or defending the ‘Fathers Rights’. When was the last time you saw any of these politicians defend the ‘American Fathers Rights’?

When are we going to stop whining and doing something about it? With the Elian case in the public eye it would be the perfect opportunity to gather hundreds or better thousands of Fathers at the Atlanta Supreme Court building and protest. I bet you we would get some attention specially if we could gather a large crowd.

I have been waiting for over four months

I have been waiting for over four months just to have the appeals case scheduled. I have been fighting three years, and in the process, spent thousands and thousands of dollars. I have seen my children be bounced back and forth. I have seen my ex-wife toy with the system to delay processes to her benefit. I have seen my children become frustrated for the length of time it takes to decide custody cases.

Still, while we wait and wonder when this will be over, we have to sit here and see the appeals court in Atlanta schedule Elian Gonzalez ‘s case for May 2000. The whole custody issue for Elian might take about 5 or 6 months. Yes, in that amount of time they will do what has taken me 3 years to do and will possibly have a final decision before our case.

I see all these politicians either defending Elian to stay or defending the ‘Fathers Rights ‘. When was the last time you saw any of these politicians defend the ‘American Fathers Rights ‘? Of course, my children are not little Cuban kids that were picked from the ocean in a horrible ordeal, and I am not a communist being controlled by Castro trying to get my children back; therefore, what good would it do for these politicians to help me speed up my case ‘For the well-being of MY CHILDREN ‘? Someone please explain to me, what is the best interest of my children? Why do they have to see the whole nation move to get Elians case solved and then tell them it might be another year for you?

All custody cases should be solved quickly ‘for the children ‘. Laws should be changed so if a reputable Judge makes a decision, that decision should stand until proven different by the appeals process. A law that allows for a parent who lost a custody case and a petition for a new trial to maintain custody simply by filing for an appeal and lying on the document to assure the process is prolonged should be modified immediately. Maybe it ‘s about time that the government does look out once and for all for ‘THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILDREN ‘.

A Concerned and Frustrated Father (Due to the fact that my case is still in appeals court, please do not give my name, e-mail, or any other information about me to anyone)