Divorce can be traumatic for everyone involved, including the children. One single dad is on a mission to get divorced couples to work together to protect the long-term health of their kids.
It's safe to say Bill Gobin has experienced extremes in his life. After a successful career in sunny Los Angeles as a personal trainer for actors and professional athletes, he worked in the dark coal mines of Kentucky.
Being Dad > Hollywood Career
Why the change? He elevated being a dad above the spotlight of Hollywood.
"It was incredible. I mean I saw the world, went to multiple countries, but as I got more successful, getting home became harder," Gobin shared with CBN News.
He decided to walk away from that life to be an on-the-scene single dad for his oldest daughter.
"But I got a call one day from her teacher at school," Gobin explained. "And she said, 'Well she's carrying your picture at school every day, all day now.'"
"And I said, 'That's all I need,'" he continued. "And I talked to her that night, and I said, 'Give me a week, and I'll be home.' And I was; I came home because my children are more important than anything to me."
Fighting for Sole Custody
Back in Kentucky, Gobin would remarry, and the couple had two daughters. After four years, that relationship ended, and a series of events led him to fight for sole custody of his two youngest daughters.
He made 45 appearances at the Henderson County Judicial Center in defense of his daughters and fighting to be their sole custodial parent. In fact, he represented himself during 15 of those appearances, winning every time.
"God knows my heart; he knows my motives for the way I fought for the girls and how much I love the girls," Gobin said. "And I don't love them more than their mom; I just love them in a different way."
"She loves them the best that she can. But there are things to fix," he added.
'A Better Way'
After one of the court hearings, Gobin says he heard a statement from a lawyer he knew that prompted him to do more.
"He said, 'It's not enough.' That just hit me," he shared. "And that kept ringing, the term, 'It's not enough. It's not enough.' And I know what he meant was it's not enough to get custody."
"And I'm like, 'There's gotta be a better way. There's something missing here,'" he continued.
The better way for Gobin led him to become an advocate for what's known as co-parenting, where divorced parents work together instead of against each other.
"Well for me co-parenting is 100 percent when you think about your child before you think about yourself," he said. "And sadly, most decisions are ego driven."
'CO-PARENTING IS S.I.M.P.L.E.'
His journey also led to the book, If you can get over yourself, CO-PARENTING IS S.I.M.P.L.E.
"And S.I.M.P.L.E. is the acronym for the six chapters in the book: 'Stop the Chaos;' 'It's Not About You;' Make It Your Life's Mission, 'Because It Is;' 'Professional Help – Get Some;' Leave Your Kids Out of It; and 'Evolve as Co-Parents,'" Gobin explained.
"Sixty-seven pages to explain common sense, and it is actually simple," he added.
Support from Daughters
And his eight and nine-year-old daughters might be his biggest cheerleaders.
"So co-parenting is where two people – they're divorced; they work it out," Lilly Gobin told CBN News. "They work together – try to create the best life for their children."
"It's good that parents should be co-parenting for the kids because I think it helps the kids have like a better relationship whenever their parents are like you know broken up," Lexie Gobin told CBN News.
"And like normally whenever people break up, it hurts the people in the middle," she added.
Area Leaders on Board
Gobin's message of co-parenting is also resonating with area leaders. He has posted on his dining room wall different proclamations from mayors, proclaiming 2019, "Bill Gobin's Co-Parenting Year".
And the governor of Kentucky appointed Bill a "Kentucky Colonel" for his child advocacy work. That's the highest honor that a civilian can receive in the commonwealth.
"And me encouraging mayors to say, 'Hey, let's make the whole year a co-parenting year, 'Bill Gobin's Co-parenting Year,'" Gobin said. "Encourage parents to meet. Do something once a month."
"If it's bowl, if it's go to an arcade or whatever the case may be, but do something to show some unity," he continued. "And this thing is just, it's just taking off."
A Legacy of Helping Kids
Gobin hopes his legacy is one of helping millions of children, and that's not all.
"That I took an enormous amount of pain, listened to God and turned it into something that can prevent millions of tears being shed from unhappiness," he said.
"And I want my daughters to be proud of their dad," Gobin continued, trying to hold back tears.
When asked if he thinks they already are, he responded, "Yeah. Yeah, I do. And they are the bomb; I love 'em."