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mediation or not?

(21 Posts)
notsorted Fri 29-Jul-11 21:49:47

Hi,
I turned down initial request to go to mediation on advice of solicitor - abusive situation. I am concerned re DCs safety and total denial of events even though there is documented evidence and also some real concerns re ex's mental state. Now I am hesitating as alternative is court and that seems even more scary. Also don't want to seem obstructive if it does end up in court. I would prefer some kind of supervision as really not sure he has taken on board what DCs went through and witnessed.
I feel I need to see some willingness to address issues and something done so I can trust him, but will mediation take into account those issues or just see them as my concerns and nothing to do with DCs safety?
I know I've got issues coming to terms with how I let it all go on for so long, tried to manage things.

prh47bridge Sat 30-Jul-11 08:05:04

Mediation is about trying to come to an agreement between you. A decision will not be imposed on you. If you and your ex are unable to reach an agreement that you feel adequately addresses your concerns the mediation will fail.

Collaborate Sat 30-Jul-11 08:38:38

Speak to the mediator about your concerns in the initial assessment session. They may feel mediation isn't suitable, but they at least need to be aware of it.
You do need legal advice to go hand in hand with the mediation process. Otherwise you won't know where you stand in the process, what you can ask for and whether his stance is reasonable.

babybarrister Sat 30-Jul-11 08:41:07

I agree with Collaborate - a good mediator does not refuse to mediate because of domestic violence but does need to know about it. All depends on how the victim feels about it

notsorted Sat 30-Jul-11 09:50:53

Collaborate and Babybarrister
ok not sure what I feel. Am very worried by his failure to acknowledge what happened. He even blames his conviction on me. He has financial problems/MH issues which may or may not have caused the DA (against me but witnessed by DCS) and has not been consistent in seeing them. I have to pick up the pieces so really want to know what he will do to address these otherwise I need to protect DCs from his flakiness or situation won't improve. So am I allowed to say because of x or y, I will only do a or b? I do have more than one thought of how to do this ie from supervised contact. But don't want overnights until things settle down. I reckon he will just say he wants to see DCs and give no explanation.

Collaborate Sat 30-Jul-11 16:19:36

You're right to do that. Your solicitor should advise you on the things he must do to prove he's addressed his offending behaviour - eg any DV programmes and psychiatric help/drug/alcohol treatment. Unless he's prepared to face up to what he's done there's no way he can start that journey.

notsorted Mon 01-Aug-11 19:54:24

Hi, sorry to ask again but something came up with my councillor that I wondered about. Ex is either scamming sickness benefits or does have long-term serious MH issues. The former is not good example for DCs and the latter is worrying as may impact on ability to care for them. Ex is proud that he is saved indignity of dole and I've never had full story re problems. Are his MH issues likely to come up. Should I bring them up with mediatior. Is disclosure likely to be ordered by court?

Collaborate Tue 02-Aug-11 00:45:54

Yes to all 3 questions.

notsorted Tue 02-Aug-11 09:13:18

Dear Collaborate,
thanks. What a succinct response. Oh for your clarity of thought. I waffle through my what ifs and maybes.

notsorted Tue 02-Aug-11 21:48:14

Hi can I try this plan?
I will go to initial mediation session on my own, but will have written a letter that details abuse and what DCs witnessed, my concerns re reliability, responsibility, his ability to provide for DCs financially at all, his MH issues and failure to deal with them. I will be open about my sometimes flaky state caused by the above but explain that I have been seeking help. I explain the affect of all this on me partly but mostly my worries about what DCs has seen and concerns for the future given past. Explain that it was his choice to use physical/emotional abuse etc, etc.
I say that I am willing for contact via MiL who will also get a copy of the letter.
In effect, I'm saying ok if you want to pursue unsupervised contact/overnights etc via court all this will come out. There is evidence (police, emails, texts, witnesses for stuff that he has done.
Does this sound a good way of raising my valid concerns re his ability to parent without me getting hung up on going to court and wasting more money on solicitors. So I'm sort of saying ok I dare you to go to court ... I know MiL is able and willing to supervise contact and does have reservations about his parenting skills.
Is this a good plan or not? Where does that leave me legally on making allegations/slander or whatever?

notsorted Tue 02-Aug-11 22:19:34

Sorry meant libel/defamation. I wouldn't state anything for which I don't have evidence that would stand up if contact case went as far as Cafcass/court

cestlavielife Wed 03-Aug-11 13:53:01

i think it's fine - you are concerned about welfare of children in his care for the following reasons - state them.
you ahve evidence so it is tru.
sueprvised access for now via MIL is reaosnable - is she in it for the long term.

it is not your job to decide if he really sick or not - if he calining he is incapacitated then take that as gospel- and explain in what way his MH issues cause concern giving examples.

i found court process more secure - decision made by third aprty (cafcass/judge) while mediation you might be pushed to agreeing something you not happy with. but if you confident strong enough tos tick to saying "supervised contact for now on xx days per week day time, after three/six months agree to review how it is going"

mediation - both of you put ideas up for negotiation, you agree a plan with help of mediator
court - present facts and judge makes the decision

i have evidence of poor care of DC when in his care eg losing oldest who has SN etc and other stuff recorded by social workers and police.

my exP had "good" period and went from contact centre to unsupervised - but then his MH flared up again -his behviour scared my dds so i stoppped contact on their request - but said supervised would be ok - which he refused....and now back to supervised for ds (dds decline to see him but have met him in july when he saw dd gymnastics end of term display. so efectively it was supervised by me - in public place but was still a nitemare as he began on and on about being together again... )

cestlavielife Wed 03-Aug-11 13:54:36

inconsistency of contact is harmful to DC so is good example of why he cant be trusted - and strictly set supervised sessions good plan

notsorted Wed 03-Aug-11 15:05:34

Thanks very much for that. I really want DCs to have good, safe and stable contact and possible backup ie MiL as fun option if he doesn't turn up. I want to be able to trust him with their care, but think if too much too soon it will all fall apart. And also want pathway to making it work better in future without court as I can't afford it and it's money that should go on DCs basically

cestlavielife Wed 03-Aug-11 16:00:36

who is paying for mediation?

notsorted Wed 03-Aug-11 16:52:04

Hi, I'll have to pay. He won't as not working and so gets legal aid

notsorted Wed 10-Aug-11 10:25:55

Hi,
I am going to do mediation - it's for contact only - and am drafting outline of background to give to mediator.
Having a bit of trouble not focusing on what went on between us rather than on what the DCs have witnessed and been involved in.
I really don't want this all to go to court - more stress, more money, so want mediation to work.
So all the options I've come up with centre on this is ok if he addresses that, or will consider doing that if he addresses this.
Is that a helpful way of doing things or will it be seen as obstructive? I don't want to be seen as wielding power, but in essence I have the responsibility therefore the power comes with it. Because he has never taken responsibility he has usually banged on about power inbalance.
Is the mediator just concerned with geting a solution, any solution or will he/she say ok because of x or y, this isn't going to work?

Collaborate Wed 10-Aug-11 11:19:04

Go for it.

You'll only pay for your half of the cost. Legal aid will pay (reduced rates as ever) for his half.

babybarrister Thu 11-Aug-11 19:46:44

just remember everything you give mediator will be copied to your ex. Good luck

notsorted Fri 12-Aug-11 17:02:27

Hi, I've heard via someone else that his legal aid has run out and he no longer has a solicitor. He is now back to I just want contact. I know what I want to say and have talked to various people re abuse etc who say I'm justified in setting conditions. Does running out of legal aid mean he has to pay for the mediation too? Now I'm worrying that he won't turn up for mediation and we will be back in limbo land, which is what I don't want. His general tactics throughout relationship have been to kick up a duststorm then run away until my guilt sets in and I give in for the sake of the kids.

notsorted Sun 14-Aug-11 17:03:18

Hi, again. Have confirmation that ex no longer has solicitor and will not qualify for any financial help towards mediation.
He set this ball in motion ... I want stable, safe and reliable contract for DCs, also hold out hope that this can be beginning of a path towards proper co-parenting and way of us communicating properly over DCs future, which needs some work via something and especially for him not to deny affect of what happened. I reckon now that it's not free that he wants to return to an informal arrangement, but am anxious that given my various concerns it won't be and the fear of him finding some way to get more legal aid for court case will be in the pipeline later. I don't trust him one inch and very wary re the DCs. Do I consult sol again? Don't want direct contact with ex in case I unintentionally do something against DCs interests that sets a precedent.
Any advice?

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