I have had the misfortune of being in Judge Donald Gillis’ court to witness the injustices fathers face on a regular basis in Dublin. You see, my daughter’s mother also resides there; and because of her residential status, her community influence and my desire to get to see my daughter more than just a few hours on the weekend (making the two hour ride to Dublin two weekends a month, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., while my daughter spends four hours in the car a day), I have had to make more court appearances in Judge Gillis’ courtroom than any well-intentioned father, paying over $800 in child support a month and thousands of dollars in lawyer’s fees to my attorney and her attorney.
I have wanted nothing more than to be in my child’s life from the day she was born — an experience that was also denied to me by the mother of my child once she found out I was staying with my on-again, off again girlfriend. She stated that she would do everything possible to make sure I would never get to see my child. I called her bluff. Certain that no court, no judge, no human being, for that matter, would ever legally back such an ugly act that would ultimately hurt a child, my child, in the long run.
Boy, was I ever wrong. Since then, the mother of my child and her lawyer have used her community platform to lie in court on several occasions and to make it seem like I have been an uncaring and irresponsible father, incapable of following simple rules, in order to ensure I do not get a fair and equal opportunity to be in my child’s life even though our previous parental record proves differently.
The law states a judge should do what is in the best interest and well-being of the child. And although, Judge Gillis has admitted my forced absence is not serving my daughter well, he continues to unethically allow the mother to call the shots and to kill my chances of ever having a healthy relationship with our daughter. Clearly, one does not have to be a judge to conclude, with evidence of all the crime in our world, that preventing fathers from being in their children’s lives is not a best practice.
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So despite my child’s mother’s influence in the Dublin community, despite her lies, her personal thoughts and assumptions about my character, and her proven financial dependency on child support, Judge Gillis should be upholding the law to the fullest extent and without bias. Unless, of course, black fathers’ lives don’t matter in Dublin. And in that case, neither do the lives of the children they wish to parent.
Marcus Scott IV, is a concerned father living in Ludowici.