What happens in a mediation session?(3 Posts)
I stopped contact with my ex because of an incident that happened beginning of Dec. We argued, I refused to let him take our DS for the weekend, I tried to non-forcibly take him back off my ex, he refused and held him closely, kicked me and drove off with his mum and my DS. It was the last straw for me. My ex used to be very abusive with his words towards me, a little bit physical and all in front of our DS. I moved away from him in May 2016, he had contact whenever he wanted until I finally had enough of him coming and causing arguments in my mums house, which is where I stay now with my DC. I limited the contact to weekends only. Still he caused arguments so I refused to allow him to come. He still had contact, but his mum would pick up our DS for the weekend and return him a day or two later. He didn't bother a whole lot with our DD who is at the moment 18 weeks old. Nobody on his side of the family do. And that really hurts me that my DD is treated differently. Our DS is 18 months old. It has had an effect on his psychological well-being and I can see how much it has now more than ever. It has been a month since I stopped contact and my DS has improved so much. He used to wake up screaming at night. He now only fusses a little bit. He used to cry for no reason during the day. He now only cries when hes hungry or tired. He used to be sort of down in the dumps, but now he is sooo happy. I know some of you may say that maybe it is because he is just developing a personality but I think its more than that. I think he was being effected by the things his dad did and said to me. He used to cry uncontrollably at night time. If I had went to the toilet or to make him a bottle and left him sleeping or playing he would scream like I was going to leave him and then he wouldn't let me go. He always did it when his dad threatened to take him away from me. I know he is very young to understand but he feels the smallest tension that I feel and he feels every mood his dad feels, which was I'm afraid to say negative and angry 98% of the time. He is such a happy little boy now.
Sorry for the long explanation, I've been feeling lately that I have to justify my actions, esp to my ex's family as they don't fully understand the situation. But anyway, my post was really to find out what happens in a mediation session? as my ex has requested mediation to get contact. I have never been to one and have read 1 or 2 stories which did not give me any positive thoughts about it. What will happen? Do I need to present any evidence of anything? e.g. agreements that were meant to be followed. I am really confused right now. I know I have nothing to worry about but as recent events have proven, my ex and his family will lie to make me look bad and them look innocent as hell. I have tried to instigate contact since I moved. I suggested times and dates and even put my DD in the agreement but he never even bothered to make the effort. I communicated with my ex non stop until I refused to speak with him. I asked if his mum could be a mediator and she just F'd that up on day 1. I got advice from my health visitor and followed up on it, I did everything in my power to make things work with contact while protecting my DC from any harm. I all out of power. The only times I didn't allow for my DS to stay with his dad over the weekend was when he was ill as I do not trust them to care for him. I discussed with my ex every time there was a family party/gathering that my DS was asked to attend and he didn't even attempt to discuss anything but just gave me the okay whatever response. ALLL the other times was my ex refusal to want to have contact. But naturally I got blamed for that too.
Please if anyone has been in this situation before I would love for your input about what I am up against. Am I allowed to suggest contact be made in a contact centre? I would rather my DS not spend any nights with my ex and his family anymore. And what do I do in regards to my DD? She is not used to her dad or her dads family. And they do not know what to do when she cries or fusses. The 1st time they took her, it was for about 4 hours. Nobody changed her nappy and nobody fed her. There was two ready made bottles in her bag. Both of them were full. She was so upset when she came back. But the smile on her face when she saw me, it was like she knew everything was going to be okay. I changed her and fed her and she just napped in my arms. Sometimes I cry for her because she hasn't even had the chance to bond with her dad because of his lack of attention towards her. When he has seen her, hes held her for like 5 or 10 minutes and that is it. In the 18 weeks shes been here, hes seen her about 20 times?? I assure you, it has not been that many times. Will I be forced to do anything I don't agree to? That is my real concern. I have my DC best interests at heart. Believe me. I have not even been studying or revising or attempting to set up my small business which I have been dying to do since I got the idea.
Sorry for the long post. I am extremely stressed. Please help.
I am afraid I don't know how mediation like this goes but do you have a solicitor acting for you? If not have you seen if you qualify for legal aid to get some advice on your options?
If you don't qualify then speak to your local citizens advice or ask to talk to a child welfare officer at social services for their help about what you can expect and what they would advise for contact.
Not sure if any of this helps you but if you haven't already tried these options it's worth asking.
The mediator has no power to make you do anything.
If you do agree things in mediation, they are not binding on you. Either of you can back out of any agreement.
Everything that happens in mediation is confidential. You and your ex shouldn't even talk about what happened in mediation if you end up in court, as mediation is "privileged".
If you believe it is in your children's best interest to see their father, a contact centre is a good starting point, but contact can't stay there forever, so you will ultimately see contact moving on. From all you say, I would take overnight contact off the table for a good long time for both children.
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