My (ex) husband and I had our first MIAM Family First Mediation last week and the woman was appauling. Really disorganised, officious and even got my name wrong twice! She was also saying each session after the MIAM would be £250 each which seems v steep (and much more than CAB said). Has anyone had a good experience with their mediator and where is the best place to find one (I am in Beckenham, Bromley). Just feel vulnerable to sharks at every point in this process!
My first mediation I came away feeling completely disappointed. My STBEXH sat with a smile on his face all the way through (I could have punched the grin right off his face). He lied and manipulated his way through the whole meeting. I felt the mediator was judges me as I got upset and couldn't put my questions across well. I was in two minds whether to go back. But I did go back but insisted in shuttle mediation (so I could stay calm and not have to deal with STBEXH manipulation). The mediator seemed to change - I think she had sympathy for me and knew I had found the whole first meeting both traumatic and frustrating. Once she saw his financial forms she realised I was telling the truth and he'd lied his way through the entire thing. This renders the mediation process pointless, as the whole thing is suppose to be based on transparency and honestly to come to a resolution.
I do think the costs you have quoted sound high - but I'm guessing different areas carry different fees. London for example would probably be a lot more expensive than Cornwall or Wales. I'm paying £95 for 180 mins for a single mediation or £150 for shuttle mediation (2 rooms, 1 mediator).
My mediator is not the most skilled, in my opinion, but she's there to pose my questions to him, and record his bullshit answers. Hopefully she will be able to record a settlement offer so I can take this to me solicitor.
Have you shopped around for a mediator?
I've not got a great deal of choice where I am. We are rural and I had a grand total of 2 to choose from. My solicitor advised me to which one to use. The solicitor said use the mediator to hopefully get a financial settlement in principle (as they are considerable cheaper) then the solicitor would fine tune it before applying for a consent order. If it's not cheaper then maybe just get the solicitors to sort an agreement.
Thanks. God I hope the smile goes off your ex's face and you get what you want from the process. At least my ex and I are on good terms at the moment (we are putting aside the fact he has been a cheating fu**ing liar to one side while we deal with the practical stuff mainly to secure a safe position for our children). I am gobsmacked at how you have to 'shop around' for good advice that you pay a fortune for at such a vulnerable time. There has been no abuse in our relationship (physical anyway!) but for those there has it must be even worse to find the energy to get good, affordable advice. But yes I am SE London so although there is choice the quality is questionable!
We separated due to his affair (denied it at the time but admitted it in the end). Now he's with someone else! Plus I've since found out about other philanderings in our 17 years together.
However it was all very amicable in the beginning. Him helping me and our 2 DC move out. He even used to message to ask if I was ok. Once I took control of the divorce (I filed with adultery) and he realised he would have to show financial stuff to get a consent order he obviously got very nervous. He's obviously bricking it that HMRC will investigate him. He's even getting legal aid for his mediation as his declared income is pitiful!
I'm so upset that someone i thought loved me, married me, had two children with could out me through so much sh*t. I'm not just talking about the lies and affairs, I'm talking about his trying to rip my off for my equity, which I want to use to provide a home for our DCs). He's even has his vehicle valued by a friends business to a ridiculously low value to reduce his assets. I'm amazed at the lengths he's going to. I can honestly say I never thought the man I married would stoop this low. The affairs I put down to a massive midlife crisis... But his methods of trying to keep finances from me and the kids is beyond understanding. He can still afford to book hotels away with the latest girlfriend though (DC saw the booking in his laptop last time he visited). So he's not that skint - all his cash jobs are keeping her in holidays.
Really hope he does the right thing this week and turns up to the mediation. My nerves are shot with all this. Had the Decree Nisi read in court this week. So one step further down this bumpy road.
The saddest thing is my 2 DC have seen unequivocally what a selfish b*stard their dad is.
Not sure why half my message was in bold .
I wasn't shouting that bit... Honest!
Hope you find another mediator soon.
I had a fantastic mediator. She cost £150 each per hour.
She was great and really made DH listen and stop being a dick. He used to sit there and just say no to anything I put forward for the financial settlement. The mediator told him that he could not just sit there and 'say no every time Blue suggests something, you have to be part of this too'
She also made us think about the kids and set processes in place for holidays, Christmas and recognising our birthdays. 8 years on we are still sticking to most of them.
Going through this was truly the worst time of my life, she helped me enormously.
She enabled us to talk and deal with the things we needed to. After a few sessions we were able to sit together on our own and sort out the financial. Exdh was still a dick though, she could not cure that.
This lot are a lot less pricey. Not had much experience of them though.
Wish I had your mediator. Mine doesn't lead the topic or make suggestions. I've had to do that as a STBEXH didn't bring anything to the table, so to speak.
Thanks MrsBertBibby, we have an appt with SELFMB this week and just on the phone they sounded a lot better and yes half the price! I don't think EXH has realised how serious this all is so worried that after the MIAM (together) he may start being unreasonable. Esp. as looking at his statements he has been spending ALOT on clothes and mysterious amounts of cash withdrawals. It will be interesting to see what he says he's been spending on when i have been paying all house running costs and childrens needs. If after 'essentials' for 2 x households there is income left will he be able to keep that or will it be shared in my favour as primary carer?
I had a session a couple of weeks ago and to be honest didn't really expect a lot as my ex is a complete narc. However, I was pleasantly surprised. It was £300 per session which didn't bother me as ex is paying. I honestly thought he would just manipulate his way through it but she saw right through him. He blew up twice and kept reminding him that my son was the most important person not him! He lost his temper with her when he was asking to come for tea with our baby when she said if I get into another relationship I won't want the ex around lol! Got that bad that she separated us! I'd had the sense to prepare myself and wrote questions down beforehand and got all my emotion out before the session so was completely composed throughout. I think a couple of people on here agree that sometimes people only agree to mediation if they think it's going to go their way! My ex is happy to see me and my son homeless if needs be! She defo put him in his place
As a mediator reading through your experiences of mediation I feel really sad and disappointed to read that mediation has let you down.
I am very surprised to hear of the charges you have been experiencing as most services (in the North East at least) charge what the Legal Aid Agency pays which is £120 per person per hour. And mediation can be completely free if you are eligible for Legal Aid.
It may be helpful that when looking for a service you investigate whether they have a Legal Aid contract because you may then get the service for free. Services with Legal Aid contracts have a lot more checks on them; so they tend to be a higher quality.
You can find a service using these links - www.findmediation.co.uk/ and www.familymediationcouncil.org.uk/find-local-mediator/
As a mediator I know what a difficult time divorce and separation can be so I hope you are able to find a service that can help you through the process to ease some of the stress and worry for you. All the best.
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