Brian Jones sat in his office, reflecting upon the latest developments.
After the first hearing he had thought that the judge had been biased against him; after the second hearing he was convinced that he was.
Clearly, he was never going to get a fair hearing. The question was: what should he do now? Should he throw in the towel, let Liz have everything and give up on ever having proper contact with his children? Or should he fight it out, making a stand against a system that was prejudiced against husbands and fathers?
It didn't help that his own solicitor was clearly also one of the system. He was always telling Brian what he couldn't do, or what he had to do, never what Brian wanted to hear. At times, it had seemed as if he was on Liz's side, not his. Perhaps he should instruct a solicitor who was prepared to fight for him. On the other hand, all solicitors were probably biased. Perhaps now was the time to go it alone - he felt sure he could do a better job on his own.
He glanced up at the clock on his office wall. An hour had passed, and he hadn't even looked at the pile of papers on his desk. He realised that he had hardly done any work for days, and the pile was getting ever larger. The whole divorce thing had become all-consuming, and he just couldn't concentrate on work. If he didn't snap out of it soon, his business would go under.
But that thought didn't stay in his mind for long.
It was all so unfair. Why should he have to see his kids at a contact centre? He was a good father - he'd never done anything wrong to them. How could he ever have a relationship with them if he only saw them for two hours once a fortnight? His solicitor had told him that this was only a temporary arrangement, but he wasn't so sure. He couldn't see that judge ever letting him have proper contact. He knew the game Liz was playing: she hoped that he would get fed up going to the centre and give up on contact altogether. Maybe he would grant her her wish...
And as for the divorce settlement, Liz was clearly after everything: the house, his pension, even his business (she had made sure the court ordered him to disclose his business accounts). Why should he come out of a ten year marriage with nothing? How could that be right? The whole stinking system was biased against him.
The clock ticked on.