Disneyland Dad

Disneyland Dad

A Disneyland Dad is a product of the current system that forces one parent from being a meaningful impact on their child’s life. This is usually, though not always, the father. There are definitely, Disneyland moms as well.

A Disneyland Dad is basically a dad who is forced into being a “visitor” to his children.

Typically a Disneyland Dad only sees his children 4 days a month through court order and in their “best interest”.

The time with his children is so limited that he tries to make the most of it by making memories through planned events if possible.

Going to the water park, a shopping spree, an amusement park, Disneyland or whatever.

Every visit by the children is an “event”.

Your time so limited and your desire to have a good time and “make memories”, to see smiles on their faces and make the most of your time so the weekends are filled with as much “fun” activity as you can possible fit in or afford. It may have nothing to do with money at all for many dads that cannot afford “events”. But this does not stop them from being Disneyland Dads. These dads may allow the kids to stay up all night without a bedtime or it might include having ice cream for breakfast every morning.

2 days go by very quickly and then it is 2 long weeks again until you see them again.

You are not part of their daily routine. You don’t help them get ready in the morning. You don’t help them nightly with their homework, or have dinner with them and discuss their day, you don’t enforce their bedtime or tuck them in at night.

A Disneyland dad misses the important things in life with his children, the every day connection that is so important for maintaining a parent/child relationship.

A Disneyland dad is more like a grandparents relationship

We all know how grandparents are always spoiling their grandchildren.

A Disneyland dad does the same. The word “No” is not something kids hear out of a Disneyland Dad very often.

Because you are forced to not see your children often; when you do see them you try to make those days as much fun and smile filled as possible, like “Disneyland” for them.

We live in a society that does not value dads. Dads are second to mom, and when a separation occurs, we far to often marginalize fathers and push them to the side, we force them to be visitors in the lives of their own children.

If you believe dads matter…

Join us at The Fathers’ Rights Movement of you support Equality in parenting.


Thomas Fidler


SAD Observation

Who is your most influential leader? That is the first question I ask my students in one of the leadership classes that I teach at Army University. We struggle with that question for a few minutes thinking about the dozens or even hundreds of people who have been influential to us over the years. Then we dive deeper by thinking about how and why they influenced us. It is always an enlightening and transformative discussion for the students, and I have made some observations of my own.

My classes are generally made up of 18 students. The registrar does a wonderful job of diversifying the classes by gender and commands. The average class consists of 50% males and 50% females. This allows us to get an optimum mix of perspectives across the leadership spectrum.

Knowing that my class is gender diverse, we enter our exercise, identify your most influential leader. Even for those who struggle with who to choose, roughly 75% of students select a family member. Father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, and uncle aunt are the usual responses. In my last class a gentleman chose a family member that I had never heard before, in over five years of conducting this exercise with roughly 1,500 students. I will share that in a moment.

Since I’ve begun observing this phenomenon several months ago, 3/18 students choose their mother as their most influential leader. ½ of students identify their father as their most influential leader. I have not attempted to measure the percentages of male vs female student’s choices, but I have not noticed any glaring differences. From these six classes, on average, 6 more students chose their father as their influential leader than those who chose their mother.

I just cannot help but wonder who the next generation of students will choose. If the government continues alienating fathers/parents from their children’s lives. I am not implying that more students will choose their mother, or that there is even anything wrong with that. I am concerned that they will not choose either parent, but instead opt for some lame government official who “saved” them from their “evil” parents.

We aren’t there yet; thank God. I was moved by one gentleman who identified his eight year old daughter as his most influential leader. He shared a story with the class that was about taking his daughter out dinner. Like many eight year olds, without a tablet, she did some coloring and drawing while waiting for her food to arrive. Once they had eaten, settled the bill, and were leaving his daughter shoved her hand into her daddies from pocket, and would not let him take it out. Generally when my daughter does this, she is fishing for money. She finally removed her hand and they left. Later that night, after he had dropped his daughter back off at her mother’s house, he found a note that she had left in his pocket. The letter thanked him for being such a great daddy and said the words “you inspire me.” Needless to say that incident surely influenced and inspired him, I think it impacted the class too.

How are we influencing and inspiring our children; our next generation of leaders? Letting the courts and government rule us on a personal level is not the way that I want to inspire my children. I want them to understand that they can figure out, fix, and handle conflict on their own. Be responsible adults. Stop letting the court decide winners and losers, and continue dividing us. We can fight back, but not through the court or the government. We have to be personally responsible for ourselves. I will if you will.


Once divorce has been filed and things begin to spiral, you may feel like you are losing control quickly; you are. Overwhelming, the need to feel protected may begin to drive your decision-making, as it should. My lawyer encouraged me to request a Child Custody Investigation (CCI). The first time you are encouraged to get a CCI it makes complete sense. Especially in my situation, where I knew that she was trying to move the children 2000 miles away. I knew that there was absolutely no evidence that I was a bad father, but getting the court ordered seal approval made sense, and I wanted absolute certainty that there was no chance that she could take them from me. Looking back at the effectiveness, my recommendation is to save your money; here is why.

Ordering a CCI is simple, but not cheap. Any court will accept a request that allows for it to make more money. The CCI will not be approved until you pay the fee. The fee for my CCI was $750. What I was not told is that is the starting price. If the investigator, who is a local divorce attorney, submits more billable hours, then you are responsible to pay for whatever she bills. You have no say and you get no notice. You get presented with a bill at the time of trial.

Terri Harris was assigned my CCI. She is about 70 years old and even colder. For the CCI I met at Terri’s office. I waited about 30 minutes past my scheduled appointment time, and then met with her for 10 or 15 minutes. During that time there was a short interview in which she basically asked me if I thought that the children’s mother was fit, and if I thought that I was a fit parent. We also set up a time for her to visit my home while the children were with me. During this time, the court had ordered that I got the children every weekend. This allowed her to charge me extra for weekend work. The day that she was scheduled to visit was relatively cool. I was living in a second story apartment, so my children and I had to wait for her outside to let her in, freezing our butts off. She was 35 minutes late. She walked into my apartment, stated “oh, these are nice”, asked my children if I fed them, and then left. She was there less than 5 minutes. Assuming that my ex-wife went through this same process that means that she “worked” a total of less than an hour.

According to her itemized bill, she spent over 4 hours reviewing her notes and writing a report to the court. The report consisted of 10 bullets. The good news was, none of the bullets spoke ill of me in any way, and they supported 50/50 equal parenting time. The bad news is that she charged another $750 for this service.

During the trial the judge mentioned the report only to notify me that I owed Terri another $750, and then he took my children away. That isn’t just corruption, it is outright theft. I have refused to pay the additional fee, and now Miss Harris has filed a motion to force the payment. I will fight it any way that I can. I will lose. She will somehow steal this money from me. I promise this though, whatever she steals from me will cost her 10 fold.

It is not an eloquent blog entry, but hopefully you got the point. As tempting as a CCI sounds, don’t get your hopes up. That money is better spent elsewhere. The only way that I could see a CCI serving your cause is if your ex is accusing you of something. If there have been no accusations, do not waste money on a CCI.

SAD Disneyland Dad

Apologies for my absence. I have had my children for the last 10 days, and have been spending every moment of it making memories.

Because I have been alienated 2000 miles away from my children, it appears that I spend a lot of money on them. When they come to town I try to plan special events, and take them on adventures. The alienating parent will try to use this as evidence for greater financial support. My ex mentions it every time I make a reasonable request. “Well, since you can take the kids everywhere and buy things they don’t need,” are typical general statements. They are either so short sighted they cannot see the truth or may be truly that delusioned.

In my situation, she has been allowed to move my children 2000 miles away. I miss out on a lot. I don’t get to be a part of important and every day memories. I don’t get to attend school functions or even pick the kids up from the bus stop. I don’t get to take my daughter to taekwondo. I have missed my sons entire soccer season and most of his basketball season already. In short, we do not get to make memories.

Enter my short and infrequent visitations. I get my kids in 10 day bursts, thusfar. I have missed out on being a part of so many memories that I feel the need to make as many quality ones as I can in my short visits. Travel alone, to get my children to Kansas, has cost me over $1000 per trip so far. The memories that we have made have been far more costly, but it is worth it. If they came to visit and we just sat here and watched movies, they would likely have no memories of me in their childhood. I will not do that to them. I will not let that happen to me. We will make the best of our situation every time and a big part of that will be making memories.

So, I may not even know when they will come to Kansas this summer, but I will start planning our adventures. This summer will be so great that they will forget that Oregon even exists.

SAD Conspiracy

What if the state of Kansas is trying to kill me? How is that for a conspiracy theory? It’s ok, roll your eyes, but read on, if for nothing more than entertainment. I wish that I could say that the thought has never crossed my mind, but I have an active imagination.

Let’s look at the facts. We know that alienated parents are committing suicide at an unprecedented and sickening rate. While it is SAD that the government and alienating parents would push a parent to this extreme, it also doesn’t make sense, at first glance. If a support paying parent kills himself, both the state and parent will lose that support, right? Not so fast. If the custodial parent loses support from the non-custodial, she is then eligible for support from the state. You guessed it, in return the state earns more federal incentives. It’s not a such a bad deal for the state. They no longer even have to invest court time.

Now, let’s look at my situation, which is a little different. If I die, my ex gets my disability pension, at least until the kids become adults. Why wouldn’t she do everything in her power to push me to that limit? If I die, then instead of receiving $2200 a month from me she would receive $3400 from the VA. Additionally, not only may Kansas acquire control over distribution of my pension, which would be matched for title 4 D dollars, but they would also likely provide state support which would also be matched for incentive.

So, I have to ask myself, is it that crazy to think that they could collaborate to hatch such a crazy scheme? My pension, over the course of my life, is worth close to $10M. I am only one of thousands of disabled veterans going through this. The number becomes astronomical quickly.

Yes, it’s a conspiracy theory, but maybe it’s not as crazy as it sounds.

Federal Funding for….

I drive by it every day. It taunts me from only a block away. The biggest, fanciest, newest, most well maintained, and most secure (other than the prison, I assume) building in Leavenworth County. It isn’t the library. It’s not a school. The nicest structure, by far, in Leavenworth County is the court house. One can assume that the court house, laughably called the “Justice Center”, has the nicest facilities because it generates the most revenue. When did revenue generation become the function of government?

When our grandparents were children, the court in most towns the size of Leavenworth, was held in a back room at the jailhouse; twice a week. That was when the primary purpose of the court was to enact justice. Now the primary purpose of the court is to create the largest revenue stream possible for the county and the state. I doubt that the Leavenworth Family Court has ever even written the word justice in finding, or an order. Judges are more concerned with meeting quotas than finding justice and ensuring fairness. Meeting quotas often mean big bonuses for judges.

Perhaps these injustices would be easier to stomach if it were transparent what the revenue was funding. Where do these federal incentives go? Are they used to fund libraries and schools? Probably not. Federal incentives are used to expand government, and welfare programs in order to tighten its control over citizens.

Compare your own court house to other government buildings. Then ask yourself, should a building that is used to extort its citizens be nicer than one that serves to develop and enlighten?

SAD Reality

I’m halfway back to Kansas. My brother is zipping along somewhere down I24 westbound. This provides me with a little time to reflect on the weekends events. This weekend was the beginning of a special relationship, and the end of another.

I had a nice weekend visiting family and attending my cousins wedding.i cracked a lot of runaway bride and grooms cold feet jokes, but i am sincerely happy and excited for them. They grew up and went to school together, and have been dating for almost a decade. My advice, keep dating  They have built a strong and trusting foundation, and i have no reason to believe they would ever contribute to another SAD statistic. It was the first wedding that i’ve attended since my divorce, and i think that it was good for me.

On a SADder note, my uncle passed away this weekend too. Hours before the wedding, my family made the decision to remove his life support, and about 5 minutes later he passed. He fought many health issues for many years and i am happy that he can rest easy now. We will carry his pain and little further and then set it down and celebrate his life and accomplishments. I wish i could have stayed until Friday for his service, but i will be there in spirit.

The SAD reality is that life is short and fragile. We should expend most of our energy doing all that we can to love one another. I can never recall anyone saying a bad word about either my cousin who just married, or my uncle who passed. I wish i could say the same about myself. 

 I have said in the past that i no longer believe in marriage, but that is not what i mean verbatium. I believe in love. I believe in the sanctity of love. I DO NOT believe in making love legal or illegal. The government should not be involved in relationships, and can only serve to corrupt the process. As i think about it, marriage may serve as the most extreme perversion of church and state. It is allowed because it is an easy way to control people. Think about it, churches even refer to congregations as their flock, implying that they are sheep. It has different meaning religiously, but to the government “hey, we like sheep.” So how does the government become the shepard, the regulate marriage, and it thereby remove most sanctity.

So, my call to action, is to get the government out of marriage. Love is our God-given or inherent right. The only thing that government loves is control and money.