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Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any legal concerns we suggest you consult a solicitor.

Ex wants a legal agreement/mediation

(9 Posts)
Ijustworemytrenchcoat Tue 16-Dec-14 11:47:43

Brief background: our relationship has been failing for some time, we lived apart in the same house but I moved out at the start of the month. I have not withdrawn contact with our child and would not - he has had our child two nights for the past two weekends and seen him in between.

I received a letter from his solicitor (it is actually one of two but the first was sent C/O my parents and I never received it) asking for a reply within 14 days or my ex will how straight to mediation. I only have a couple of days to reply and don't know what to do. I really did not want solicitors involved, I feel we should be able to sort this between us. I don't want anybody to know my private business and it feels unfairly weighted in his favour that he can afford a solicitor as past a free half hour consultation I would not be able to afford my own.

What are the legal implications of just ignoring this letter? I am not denying my ex contact so in my eyes I'm not doing anything wrong. Do I even have to go to mediation?

duckduckgoose1 Tue 16-Dec-14 13:51:33

Attempting mediation is now a prerequisite action before making an initial Court application. So if he is going to apply to Court then he needs to tick a box to confirm mediation has been attempted or refused by the other party.

You don't have to accept his invitation to mediation but I can't think why you would decline. It's far less stressful, costly or one consuming than Court and you get to work through things yourselves with the help of a mediator and make the best choices for your own child. Once you reach Court and a Judge makes these decisions you may start to find that they are not be ideal for either of you or your child!

Does his solicitor state what issues he would like to discuss? Is e unhappy with what contact you are offering?

cestlavielife Tue 16-Dec-14 17:40:07

going to a mediation session and agreeing in writing what contact will be is not a bad idea.
go with a parenting plan and agree on all issues. subject to review say in three or six months. helpful for everyone to have something put in writing
https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/media/190788/parenting_plan_final_web.pdf

Ijustworemytrenchcoat Tue 16-Dec-14 21:06:10

I haven't offered him any contact as such. He knows I have an open house when it comes to him seeing his son (this was the case during a previous separation and I never deviated from it). That's why I'm so annoyed about him involving a solicitor when he knows I can't afford it Duck. He says it is in case I meet someone else and try to cut him out. I just wouldn't. I'm not interested in a relationship right now, I can't imagine it for a lobby long time.

He, or perhaps his solicitor as it seems a fairly standard arrangement has asked for fri/sat night one week then wed/thurs the next. He seems intent on an official arrangement and at the moment doesn't want visits in between. I can't believe after the drop off after midweek contact he is happy to go a full week without seeing him.

It may be a good idea to go to mediation as there are issues with his childcare plans as he can't get two days off work every other week. It just fills me with dread to be airing my dirty laundry in public.

mynewpassion Wed 17-Dec-14 02:43:40

Its good to have an agreement in place as a minimum basis. From there, if he or you can be flexible.

Just formalize the arrangements now so that you, him, and your child know where everyone stands.

Ijustworemytrenchcoat Wed 17-Dec-14 19:59:53

I just don't understand why he wants contact midweek when he works full time. He told me he would rearrange shifts and take time off but today he picked him up this morning and apart from giving him breakfast he won't have seen him. He is on late shift so his mum has watched him.

My son could have been with me after I finished work and instead he is being looked after by somebody else (ex mil, but that's another story). Will mediation help me with this? If my son can't be looked after by his dad I'd rather he was with me. This situation must be unsettling enough for him without introducing another carer.

Greengrow Wed 17-Dec-14 20:44:39

I work full time and I have contact mid week (and indeed all week as they live with me). Most parents who work full time want to see their children as much as possible including mid week.

If you can reach agreement with him without mediation so that - definitely write to his solicitor, ask what his demands are and put a counter proposal back. We had no mediation and no court hearings and jsut agreed things between us even though we both had solicitors. No reason others cannot do the same- why waste the money on mediators and solicitors if you can reach formal agreement on things.

As someone who has used nannies for years I don't see why it's wrong that a parent pays for care. I have my children 365 nights a year (not my choice although they are lovely) and work full time.

cestlavielife Wed 17-Dec-14 22:27:51

He is with bus grandmother so a relative. Even if it was paid child care it's not a big deal it's good to establish routines. Gives you free time too.

PeruvianFoodLover Wed 17-Dec-14 22:30:44

If my son can't be looked after by his dad I'd rather he was with me

What you are proposing is often referred to as a "right of first refusal". It's not that unusual, but is generally reciprocal - so if you expect your ex to approach you prior to making alternative care arrangements for your DS during his scheduled contact time, then it's reasonable for your DH to expect you to do the same.

If you're willing to agree to this, then for some split couples, it works very well.

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