Samuel Ridley knows all too well the challenges of the family law system.
The Warrnambool father spent two years fighting for his six-year-old daughter Evelyn.
A self-represented litigator, Mr Ridley said he was lucky to reach a good result but the process "took quite a bit out of me".
"The family law system is about as inefficient as it comes as it contributes to that sort of self-perpetuating cycle of anguish of everyday mums and dads," he said.
Mr Ridley has used his experience to inspire his first fiction novel 'Cara's Law', which follows the journey of a newly single mother and domestic violence victim struggling through the family law system in order to be reunited with her children.
"I wrote it late last year as an answer to the current family law system, the gaps that exist and some of the challenges I observed," he said.
A former law student and police custody officer, Mr Ridley is certainly no stranger to the justice system.
"I made it most of the way through my law degree and then my daughter was born, which didn't leave a lot of time to study so I made the decision to step back from that commitment and be more of a family man," he said.
Mr Ridley was stationed at the Warrnambool police station for four years and spent hours in the city's law courts.
"I learnt a lot about the different agents, lawyers, barristers, judges, social workers, witnesses - about everyone really, so all of that has given me a fair bit of perspective," he said.
IN OTHER NEWS
Mr Ridley is running a Mother's Day fundraiser in partnership with Warrnambool's Collins Booksellers between May 1 and 8, donating 100 per cent of his profits from the sale of 'Cara's Law' to Unicef's Ukraine appeal.
"Like anyone else, I'm a bit shocked and appalled about what we're seeing on the news in regards to the war in Ukraine," he said.
"Children are living in a war zone over there and I think it's a bit symbolic. This is about families and children."
Mr Ridley said the fundraiser was for anyone looking for a Mother's Day gift "with a difference".
"The book was written to help families in Australia and by purchasing it, you can raise money via Unicef for the Ukraine, hopefully helping families overseas as well," he said.
'Cara's Law' was released in November last year.
You can purchase it from Collins Booksellers or online.
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