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1st Joint Mediation session this week - any advice?

(8 Posts)
bobs123 Sun 18-Jan-15 10:47:37

Just that really. I'm reasonably clued up on the process and what is expected. I have filled in my reasonable needs and assets forms together with as much proof as I can muster.

We both already have solicitors and have already exchanged proposals - his so totally ridiculous I also consulted a barrister last year.

So what do I need to be prepared for? What games do unreasonable, procrastinating stbxes play in this arena?

The mediation solicitor has already said that we have to prove anything the other thinks is unreasonable, but I need to be as prepared as I can...

bobs123 Sun 18-Jan-15 13:55:52


bobs123 Sun 18-Jan-15 19:46:03


FTS123 Sun 18-Jan-15 20:56:27

No advice, but good luck...I've got mine soon, I hope although stbxh is stalling

MrsJackAubrey Sun 18-Jan-15 21:03:37

I think the point of mediation is to pragmatic, open and hopeful that through a sensible conversation with less emotion making people aggressive/defensive/punitive, your 'better selves' can come up with workable arrangements.

Your solicitor is there to make sure things are legally fair, not necessarily morally fair. The human side of what you agree to is up to you. You need to think through what you must have, would like to have, and are willing not to have. THen you can trade/negotiate around your latter two, in order to get your 'must have'. Don't go in 'I must have this - you have to do that' - try and stay open to what he needs (may be an emotional need, like you acknowledging his rights as a father/role as a parent, rather than a practical manifestation of those rights, iyswim) and try and acknowledge him where you can 'you are a great dad' 'you're responsible' 'you make them laugh a lot' 'you're always trying your best'.

You'll get a better result if you're reasonable. Mediation is not supposed to be Round One of a legal fight

good luck (I work in mediation)

bobs123 Sun 18-Jan-15 22:39:39

Thanks for that MrsJackAubrey I get what you are saying and am more than happy to be reasonable. However I am dealing with someone who I know will not be reasonable. To me, for example, a 60/40 split in my favour is reasonable as he has a well paid job whereas I have been mostly a SAHM (small part time job in the the last 3 years) - all the savings are mine anyway as they are inherited!

Re the DC - he has nothing to do with them (and vice versa)

Unfortunately I think in his eyes mediation might be round 1 with court coming next. I have historically always been overly reasonable - always paid for the DCs costs because he wouldn't etc. Even when DD1 went to uni she couldn't get a loan due to stbx's income - so I paid for her accommodation.

I've always been too soft and I realise I need to toughen up and not get walked over sad

STIDW Mon 19-Jan-15 15:15:32

Mediation isn't likely to work if you start from fixed positions. Holding onto a fixed idea of what you want and arguing for it alone is the adversarial "you versus me" approach or zero sum game. Each side starts with an extreme position and proceeds from there to negotiate and make concessions. The problem is as negotiations progress the parties tend to be more committed to their positions constantly restating and defending them.

That wastes time and money, and damages long term family relationships more than necessary. There is every probability no agreement will be reached. Alternatively neither party will be satisfied with any agreement reached because it's a compromise reflecting a mechanical splitting of the difference between final positions.

A more constructive and efficient way to negotiate is to first identify each others interests and look for collaborative win-win resolution that meets the needs and concerns of both sides.

bobs123 Mon 19-Jan-15 15:51:03

Hi STIDW yes I understand what you are saying. I think we need to start from scratch with our assets (we have both spent a lot in the past year due to us both having to rent as he had the assets from the house we sold frozen) plus solicitors fees, me paying school/uni fees etc.

From there my plan would be to see where that leaves us if we split everything 50/50.

(Problem here is that he doesn't want to include the third of his pension pre and post marriage, but does want to include all of my assets which are gifts/inheritance largely pre/post marriage. Solution - Show him a working out of purely matrimonial assets - house sale proceeds, his pension during marriage etc - this leaves him with very little so not feasible)

So back to including everything 50/50. All well and good, but then we have to take into account the fact that for more than 20 years he has been the main breadwinner and I have only had a part time job for the last 3 years. Even with my "non matrimonial" income this leaves me with way less for my reasonable needs (less than half). and no, I would never have anything near the same earning capability as him.

So go to 60/40 in my favour perhaps?? This still leaves him with enough from the house proceeds to buy himself somewhere to live.

The DC are 17 (final school year) and 21 (final uni year). I would always want to provide somewhere for them to live but don't know if that is reasonable. It is true that for the 4 years from September students spend as much time at home as they do at uni. So perhaps request maintenance for DD2 while at uni? Perhaps at half the rate he is paying now for child maintenance?

This would leave him with most of his wage and all of his pension which should be sufficient for his needs.

The big fly in the ointment is my inheritance from my Mum's house which is not yet sold as it is being lived in. I have included my share of the probate value in the assets but of course the price could go up...and down, and it might not be sold for a while yet.

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