there must be an easier/cheaper way.(4 Posts)
Me and ex attended 3 mediation sessions to discuss finances and contact after our split. The children are aged 2 and 4. At the third mediation session the process broke down. Ex said he would not agree to any of the financial settlements put forward and he kept going on about wanting 50-50 time with the children but he never really seemed serious about the 50-50.
So it's all gone to solicitors. I got my letter from his solicitor yesterday and I'm just wondering what all the fuss is about. He is now saying he will agree to one of the financial settlements put forward in mediation - the one which would give me more money. With the contact he is not asking for anything more than he's getting apart from starting overnights with ds which I'd already agreed could start in the summer holidays. He's only asking for 3 long weekends during the summer holidays with the children (he's a teacher so would be available for more).
The only contentious issue here is him wanting to take the children to Ireland in the summer holidays. (I posted once before about not being happy about him taking them and I was told I was unreasonable by lots of people so don't wish to be told that again!)
It also said in the letter that he would want every other weekend in the future (we currently split every weekend in half) which I have agreed with in mediation but said it needs to be when the children are ready for this.
Most significantly for me it says "our client wishes us to state that you are most definitely the resident parent."
So what I'm thinking is, does this all really have to be done through expensive solicitors or would it make more sense to try and persuade him back to mediation now he seems to have calmed down a bit and had some sense talked into him by a solicitor. The summer holiday arrangements could do with a face to face conversation as we need to talk dates etc. My mum is saying I should do it through the solicitor as mediation was such an emotional experience but I'm trying to set me and kids up in new place at the moment and could do without spending £150 a time on seeing the solicitor.
If you are clear what you want and it fits with what his solicitor is saying just respond back yourself without using a solicitor.
The solicitor will mean that you can get the agreement legally stamped. I'd go for that if I were you. Mediation can be gone back on at any time and can't always be brought up in court at a later date.
You don't have to use a solictor of your own if you can't afford it, but it can be useful to ensure you don't agree to something that is worded badly. Get them or CAB to look over any final agreement before you sign it. But do get it stamped at court so it is legally binding if you can.
You don't have to talk face to face to discuss the summer holiday dates either. Put a proposal together and ask for his agreement to it. If he doesn't agree then ask him to put forward his proposal instead.
If you get it legally agreed that you are the resident parent he can't take them abroad without your consent anyhow. So couldn't take them to ireland without your agreement. But you would then be able to take them away for up to 28 days without needing his express permission if you are the resident parent. Something to consider.
Decided that I am going to go back to the solicitor. One reason being that at least having gone through his solicitor I have actually got a clear idea of what he wants rather than him asking for all sorts of things in mediation that he's not really serious about.
Also, there are things on the financial side which I think would be better coming from a solicitor cos in mediation, any time I brought up money he made me feel guilty about it.
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