Book aims to give children traumatised by messy custody disputes “a glimmer of hope”
Years spent working in Family Law Courts, observing children caught in the middle of complicated custody battles led QC Darren Mort to want to reach out to the children themselves, to reassure them that they are more than pawns in a very adult battle.
Put simply, Mr Mort said, “I wanted to send a universal hug to the children to let them know someone cares and that none of this is their fault.”
“Adults can rationalise their misbehaviour to achieve their financial goals and access to children,” he added, “but I watch the children caught up in these melodramas and just wonder what effect this has on their future happiness.”
In order to share this message with as many children as possible, he wrote Tommy & Tiger Terry, which tells the story of a child going through a messy family separation and feeling like he is in a battle field of sorts. His only weapon of defence is his imaginary friend, Tiger Terry, who helps him resolve the situations he finds himself in and support him to find some happiness.
The book has received attention from professional counsellors and education professionals who are dealing with children needing support during these times. Using imagery of battle fields to illustrate Tommy’s response to being in the middle of his parents’ fighting, it delivers a tool for parents, family and friends to read to children aged four to seven years old, to address issues they may be facing, and allows them to verbalise their own personal issues.
Aside from the book, Mr Mort has written a film by the same name that will launch later this year, and established a not-for-profit organisation, the To Be Loved Network, to raise funds to help support the children of the courts.
Mr Mort has been a Barrister in Family Law for nearly 30 years, practising in the areas of Family Law and DeFacto Property Law. He was a Steering Committee Member on the Family Violence Taskforce, and is a current Committee Member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) (Australian Chapter).
To learn more, or to purchase a copy of the book, please see here.