Nicole graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in May of 2014. After graduating, she went on to work at several law firms in the Kansas City area. During the summer of 2016, she met her now-husband, Brandon. Brandon had just gone through a horrible divorce that ended with an even worse parenting plan.
Shortly after that, Brandon's ex moved the kids to Des Moines, IA (the decree did state she could live in Kansas or Iowa). Nicole and Brandon endured months of driving three hours one way for a 30-minute music program, basketball game, soccer game, or other activity. They decided it was time to relocate to be closer to the children, who at that time were three and six.
During all of this, Nicole was finishing her Master's in criminal justice at Arizona State University. It was during this time that she began to realize how unfair the family court system was, and it sparked an interest in learning everything she could about the topic. She wrote her thesis on the importance of shared parenting and graduated with her Master's in the fall of 2018.
Nicole took the LSAT with thoughts of going to law school to better serve the fathers that cannot afford attorneys. She then decided to pursue a doctorate in Criminal Justice and enrolled in school in the spring of 2019. Now over half-way through the doctorate program, she currently works as a paralegal for the United States Department of Justice.
During this time, Nicole and Brandon were both fighting for more time with their boys. They started the process in January of 2019, and now over a year later, they are still fighting for more time.
Nicole and Brandon see the boys every other weekend for less than 48 hours as well as a few holidays. Altogether it amounts to 4% of the entire year. The kids are now five (almost six) and eight. Over the past three years (1095 days), Brandon and Nicole have seen the kids approximately 43 days. Let that sink in.
When the Kettler's discovered the statistics on children who do not have equal parenting — and learning what can happen to them, they had to act. Nicole and Brandon began pouring themselves into everything they could that involved the boys.
From coaching baseball and helping the nurse with hearing screens, to being in the Parent/Teacher Organization, they are present at every event involving the boys.
Nicole has a passion for helping all the other “Brandon's” who are kept away from their children. She sought out FUAN to become active in helping to change current laws and form new ones regarding family courts and how they operate. Nicole is busy educating others on the importance of criminal justice reform, specifically within the family court system.
You can follow Nicole on Facebook by typing in #confessionsofastepmom. Her goal in using this hashtag is to not only create awareness but let others know they are not alone in their feelings.
Nicole believes that every human has a duty to be a good human and to serve others. “If the criminal justice system was designed by people who believe they might one day be involved, we would have justice.”