The Walking Dead

by fortytwo6x7


He stood alone in the dock

he was told

the charges against him

he was precluded from challenging

the slander that masqueraded as evidence

he was there to be judged

not participate


When the secrete show trial

was concluded

he was not found

guilty or innocent

yet was given

a lifetime sentence


Stranger still

he walked away

a free man


Free to live

however he chose

provided those choices

did not include

seeing his children

he was however

mandated to provide

financial support

but precluded

from knowing

how that financial support was utilised

free to be tortured

by a inconsistent flow of information

provided on the whim of his accuser

which was interwoven

with deceit and insults

and imposable to verify

free to grieve

the loss of his children

without the funeral

and graveside

that facilitates the grieving process

burdened with anxiety

fuelled by concern for the welfare

of his waking dead children


society seemed surprised

he displays anger


Author Notes

Prior to 1839 in English law typically the father would be awarded custody of children at the disillusion of a marriage. The reason for this is the father was best placed to financially provide for the children. Following her divorce Social reformer/suffragette, author, journalist and “society beauty” Caroline Norton created the Tender Years Doctrine where she put forward her opinion children younger than 7 were damaged by separation from their mother. It is unclear what a “society beauty” is and what part that plaid in her divorce, however it would seem it had no negative impact on her parenting skills as she successfully lobbied the male parliamentarians and the Custody of Infants act 1939 was introduced. This act gave mothers custody of children until the age of 7 and fathers financial responsibilities for mother and child. In 1873 the act was extended to give mothers custody and fathers financial responsibility to the age of 16. The Act quickly spread through the British Empire and to the United States and Australia.

In 2016, after 143 years of progress, we are still using a family court system based on the opinion of Caroline Norton. The result is devastation to families, children loosing access to their father and his extended family and fathers being turned into a pay cheque.