Three siblings were recently reunited with their father thanks to Facebook. The social media networking site allowed for their cousin to find them and connect the three with their dad who they had not seen in 38 years.
In looking at what happened, their parents got divorced. The mother continued to raise the children, while the father moved out. When the children would ask questions about their dad, their mother would tell them to not ask any more questions.
For two years though, a cousin started searching out for his family on Facebook. This cousin started sending messages to people in the area with the last name he was looking for. Eventually, he found one of the daughters.
For the youngest daughter, before the cousin contacted her sister via Facebook, she too had put some time into trying to find her father, but due to typos on her birth certificate came up with nothing.
The siblings have known been reunited with their father. For the father, while he missed holidays, graduations and the birth of one of his grandchildren, he said he wants to enjoy the time he now has with his kids.
Overall, while this story is certainly bittersweet — that so much time was lost and is now being made up — it does reinforce the fact that fathers need to clearly establish their rights as a parent from the very beginning.
Granted, the courts in Missouri have come a long ways in terms of setting up fair custody and visitation schedules, and do not always just award custody to the mother. However, fathers can still face unique challenges when attempting to establish their parental rights. From mothers trying to prohibit scheduled visits, to lies being told in the courtroom, this is why it is important for every dad to be properly prepared when it comes to fathers’ rights in divorce.
Source: WFAA.com, “Facebook helps reunite family split by divorce,” Shon Gables, Oct. 6, 2013