Congratulations to Darien Clark, the May 2018 FUAN Advocate of the Month
Darien is from Forest City, Iowa and has worked in the transportation industry for 25 years, 12 years as a professional driver and 13 years as a fleet manager, then as safety/assistant terminal manager.
He received the company-wide “Dispatcher of the Year” award twice for Bennett Driveaway. On June 1st, he will become Terminal Manager for Bennett Driveaway, Forest City, Iowa. Bennett Driveaway is part of Bennett International Group out of McDonough, Georgia and delivers Winnebago motorhomes.
Darien has an AA degree from Waldorf College in Forest City and a BS degree in Business Marketing from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He was a high school youth sponsor for ten years. He volunteers in the Awana program at First Baptist Church in Forest City, has been on a co-director of Cubbies group and is an adult Sunday School Teacher at First Baptist in Forest City.
On Thursday afternoons Darien volunteers at his kids' classroom at school. His hobbies are bike riding, helping local farmers with spring and fall field work, and gardening. He loves sharing his vegetables with family and friends.
Darien says his kids have experienced both Shared Parenting and also Primary Placement of one overnight and every other weekend. Darien separated from his wife for 14 months having joint physical custody on an every other day basis. She then filed papers and kept the children away from him until she was ordered by Judge Schroeder to go back to the original agreement until the final hearing. While under a joint physical placement order and two months before the scheduled final hearing, his wife moved 24 miles away from Forest City to Clear Lake, so the judge would not rule joint custody.
The judge postponed the hearing, so they held a School Placement Hearing for Cecilia. Judge Drew said there was a “Flagrant Breach of Darien's right as joint custodial parent” and Cecilia went back to Forest City School. After 2 1/2 years of joint custody, at the final hearing, Judge Drew declared both parents as suitable caretakers, but Darien's wife was awarded primary physical custody due to her flexible work schedule.
Darien has seen the adverse effects on his children. His son Abraham has experienced frequent behavioral incidents at daycare and school despite visits with a counselor. His daughter Cecilia draws pictures of herself crying and became very clingy after the decrease in visits with her father. Darien's employer noticed the negative effects on the kids and now allows him to take Thursday afternoons off to volunteer in the kids' classrooms. He has been volunteering in their classrooms for the last five years.
Darien has received almost weekly notes from his children Cecilia (11) and Abraham (9 1/2) wishing, praying for more time with their father. He has been on WHO Radio Jan Mickelson Show twice and testified several times at the Capital about the effects Divorce has on children. His daughter asked him if she could write Senators and Representatives a note talking about Divorce.
Darien believes that children love and need both their mother and father actively involved in their lives. He encourages others to get involved, speak to their legislator, talk about shared parenting to friends and others.
“People need to know what is really happening to innocent victims of divorce, the children,” Darien says. Like so many, he was unaware of what happens in family court until it occurred to him.
Darien does what he can to make a difference. Hopefully, his kids will not have the same things happen to them and their children. For over six years He has been actively engaged in communicating with members of the Iowa legislature. Darien knows it can be overwhelming to fight the battle by oneself. BUT… If we network and all contribute our God-given talents to a common cause, we can make a difference. Shared Parenting can be the standard for divorce, and we can stop this epidemic of Parental Alienation and reunite children with both of their parents.
This past year Representative Todd Gassmann created the opportunity for Darien's children Cecilia and Abraham to lead the Iowa House of Representatives in saying the Pledge of Allegiance on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018.
Darien doesn't want people to remember his name, but rather to think about and remember the thousands of children who cry themselves to sleep missing a parent. He says that mothers and fathers miss the kids when they are not with them, BUT the children of divorce miss a parent every day.
Congratulations once more Darien for being selected as the May 2018 FUAN Advocate of the Month!