'South African men are irresponsible fathers': Dad shares his custody experience

"Most certainly! Gods grace and mercy will carry me once again"
"Most certainly! Gods grace and mercy will carry me once again"

South African dads have a bad reputation, but men are fighting back and proving that this is not the case. This dad wrote to share his experience of gaining custody and raising his son after divorce.  

Read his story here:

"I am a 49 year old male of African descent, I got divorced 14 years ago. At the time I was unemployed and finances were tough, had to sell my car to finance the divorce.

My boy was a toddler at the time and felt that the mother would not offer the best environment to bring him up. She, at the time, had attempted suicide twice and was not in a good space.

I made my intentions to challenge for custody known to my lawyer, she flatly told me that I had no chance at winning, made worse by the fact I was unemployed.

Must read: "Men in South Africa get no real support": A dad's story about his life as a single parent, fighting for his kids

One of the meetings during the court process involved the court-appointed children's Advocate, social workers ( both were female!), my ex and I.

I was given a real dress down, not as an individual, but on how South African men are irresponsible fathers and how I would not be different.

I really felt pre-judged at that stage.

Before the final appearance (the process had taken two and a half years to finalise) I got employed which greatly helped.

Would I do it again?

To cut a long story short, I got primary custody of my son and she had every second weekend visitations.

The court wanted to know if I wanted any financial support, because I was battle-weary by then I turned it down.

Fourteen years later, I am staying with a brilliant 16 year old that is going to make a mark on this world!

It has not been easy, his grandparents and aunts all contributed to his upbringing. If the same situation presented itself, would I do it again?

Most certainly! Gods grace and mercy will carry me once again!"

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