Father faces challenges, rewards of being a single dad - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Father faces challenges, rewards of being a single dad

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- When parents split up, it's usually the mother who wins full custody of the children. One dad found gaining full custody is an uphill battle, but he's beating the odds.

Franco Gunnell is a single dad. As we approach Father's Day, he took time to talk about the struggle he faced, and the blessings that come from being a full time dad.

Gunnell is a father of three. His oldest son Raedon lives with him full-time.  Gunnell's daughter lives with her mom in Atlanta, and his son Robert lives with his mother in Chattanooga.
Gunnell won a long custody battle to have Raedon live with him full time.

"She wasn't a bad mom, I just needed that stability for him. I wanted him to have a relationship with his mom," Gunnell said.

From his experience, Gunnell feels the state of Tennessee often favors mothers. He believes dads don't always get a fair chance; child support payments are usually higher for fathers.

But Gunnell was willing to fight for his son, and has had custody for a year.

He says being a dad to all three is a blessing.

"Being appreciative of the blessing that God has put on me and the responsibility.  Every day I get to look at these guys and I figure I must be doing something right," he says.

Gunnell says every single parent need a team. "I've had church members help. We need a network of people that have gone and they can tell you what you need to do."

And that team helped Raedon succeed in school. He even made the honor roll.

After a full day of work Gunnel plans to enjoy his Father's Day with his children.


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