The bitter custody battles couple can endure came to light last week as a suicidal Durham man began waving a gun in public.
Just hours before the incident, Derek Walker posted on Facebook that he lost the will to live after a custody battle over his son. He was shot by police and died soon after.
But a non-profit founded just two years ago is trying to help fathers before they reach the point of helplessness.
Every Father Counts has a goal to minimize the number children living in the U.S. without clear access to the influences fathers have to offer.
Every Father Counts helps fathers that are in child support payments. The non-profit said the state works more like a collection agency rather than enforcing visitation rights, preventing them from raising their children.
Milton McCoy serves as the Executive Director of Every Father Counts. He said fathers are coming to him saying they aren't getting enough time with their children.
"They want to be the same thing mothers want. They want to be nurturing factors in their child's life," McCoy said. "(They want to) leave a legacy with their children."
"If you have a situation where a mother and a father are supposed to get together on a Friday afternoon and the father is supposed to get the child, but the mom doesn't show up, he doesn't have any real time recourse," McCoy said.
The non-profit said there are 24 to 25 million children living without fathers in their homes today. The number of households across the country without fathers is quickly progressing towards an all-time high.
Every Father Counts is looking for sponsors and other support to help more dads in need and curb the pandemic of fatherless homes in America.