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Help please, mediation.

(28 Posts)
Homely1 Tue 15-Mar-16 19:27:33

I have my first joint mediation session looming so that things can be discussed over child contact. How do j make it successful so that ex doesn't take me to court? I am dreading being in a room with him and listening to him. He's manipulative.

Strawberryshortcake40 Tue 15-Mar-16 20:27:14

Don't do it? I went to two sessions of mediation and frankly they were an expensive farce. You can't mediate with a manipulative man. Get your solicitors to agree everything, you can get a form to say you aren't suitable for mediation. Despite what they say it isn't mediation or court.

goddessofsmallthings Tue 15-Mar-16 21:00:07

You don't have sit in the same room. Ask to sit in separate rooms so that you can engage in 'shuttle mediation' where the mediator(s) act as go-betweens.

How do j make it successful so that ex doesn't take me to court? If you approach mediation in this way you may find yourself agreeing to conditions a court wouldn't impose. Establish your bottom line, wait to hear his proposals and don't be afraid to reject any that you don't find reasonable.

Be aware that mediation doesn't have to be confined to one session and you can ask for time to consider if you feel blindsided by what he wants/is offering.

kittybiscuits Tue 15-Mar-16 21:32:28

I recently did shuttle mediation. Ex turned up with an A4 sheet of requirements and said that if I didn't agree to all of them he would apply to court immediately. They let me out of the back door and kept him there long enough for me to escape. You can't mediate with an abuser.

cupcakesandwine Tue 15-Mar-16 21:56:57

I had a bad experience with mediation i am afraid. Bastard exH decided that he just shouldn't have to pay maintenance any more - he's not hard up, I asked, he just feels that as he doesn't feel guilty any more he couldn't have to pay (his words). Went to mediation as a precursor to court.

Frankly he managed to bully me and manipulate the mediator so that he sided with him. I threw a major strop at her and that was the end of the session. Waste of time and money and just gave him a platform to perform on.

Thankfully, the session I had with counsel to check my legal position a couple of weeks later was far more productive. Don't mediate with a manipulator.

Homely1 Wed 16-Mar-16 06:55:05

You are all right re you cannot mediate with a manipulator. But what is the alternative, court? And then anything could happen. He won't sort things out with correspondence via solicitors.

Thank you for your advice- j did not know that I could take time to mull over things.

kittybiscuits Wed 16-Mar-16 08:00:16

You have to attempt mediation unless there has been documented abuse/DV - then you don't have to. If there is no DV and he files to court, the court is likely to order mediation at the first court appearance - that's my understanding. You can protect yourself by insisting on shuttle mediation only. I was very clear about the reasons this was necessary. I had a good mediator and she kept him away from me.

kittybiscuits Wed 16-Mar-16 08:01:14

What are the approx ages of the children/child?

Homely1 Wed 16-Mar-16 18:33:56

Thank you... Aged 3

kittybiscuits Thu 17-Mar-16 08:12:34

Have you asked about shuttle mediation?

Homely1 Thu 17-Mar-16 09:26:19

I did not to be honest. Is it best to be in the room to begin to hear what he is saying etc first hand. I was thinking that if I do not manage then I could adopt that? I was thinking that maybe with shuttle, things get 'lost in translation'?

kittybiscuits Thu 17-Mar-16 09:43:13

I think it depends what/who you are dealing with. I also think your physical and emotional safety is important. Shuttle mediation does take longer. I only had one shuttle mediation session but the mediator as very clear and wrote down exactly what she was going to say to the other party. Do you want to say more about your situation?

kittybiscuits Thu 17-Mar-16 09:49:47

*was very clear

Homely1 Thu 17-Mar-16 10:10:46

He wants more time with DC but DC not managing, though I appreciate that not much time. Change in behaviour with DC, he does not believe it.

He has disappeared in the past and been unbothered. He lies and manipulates. And now he is back shouting rights. He is crafty and charasmatic.

kittybiscuits Thu 17-Mar-16 10:29:51

Hmm. I understand. Court will be sympathetic to his rights. Have you kept a diary of his comings and goings and behavioural changes? Are there any safety concerns or documented history of abuse?

ElBurroSinNombre Thu 17-Mar-16 10:46:52

IMO the problem with mediation is that agreements reached there are not enforceable by law. I had a problem with my manipulative ex. where she did not / does not adhere to what we had agreed and there is nothing that i can do about it. I have kept my side of the agreements fully.
Luckily my kids are old enough now to voice an opinion on things but it must be a nightmare if you have younger kids.

jellybean2000 Thu 17-Mar-16 11:08:57

My understanding is that it is a condition of the Court that both parties have to separately attend an initial mediation meeting.

You may then go through the process of indicating that joint mediation isn't appropriate.

In my case, I attended my initial meeting in Dec. He eventually went to his a couple of weeks ago. They then wrote to me explaining that they did not recommend joint mediation because he's an emotionally abuse arse. If we end up in Court my solicitor will need to get certification from the mediators that we both attended before we can proceed.

jellybean2000 Thu 17-Mar-16 11:10:41

....which the mediators will do because it was THEIR recommendation that joint was not suitable.

nb. I wasn't going to go with him anyway, but him cocking it up saved me the drama of having to officially explain why.

kittybiscuits Thu 17-Mar-16 14:10:51

Yes that's right - an individual meeting happens first and if they don't think mediation is viable they will issue the form for court.

jellybean2000 Thu 17-Mar-16 14:15:40

Good to clarify because your above post stating "you have to attempt mediation" could be misunderstood. The first meeting isn't really mediation, not in the sense most people understand it (and especially those not familiar with the process).

Dishevelled09 Thu 17-Mar-16 22:17:07

I work with mediators and can say that ime it is not expensive (solicitors are) and that they have to remain impartial but the mediators I know are pretty strong, experienced and do not let abusive manipulators get their own way. Have a look at the nfm website. If there is a local service available to you make an appointment, first appointment isn't a mediation meeting. Good luck.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 17-Mar-16 22:37:38

How much contact and overnight stays does your dc currently have with their df and has the change in behaviour been observed/noted by childcare professionals?

Homely1 Fri 18-Mar-16 05:07:15

A few hours every other weekend and childcare professionals have noticed. Ex does not believe me.

kittybiscuits Fri 18-Mar-16 07:54:56

Mediation was the same cost per hour as solicitor in my experience. I have met 2 mediators who knew exactly what they were dealing with and one who was very easily manipulated.

OP do you have a paper or email trail regarding concerns/change in behaviour?

Homely1 Fri 18-Mar-16 08:23:48

Yes I do kitty

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