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Domestic Violence Dealing with abuse and violence. Getting support and help.

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Old 08-14-2009, 01:52 PM
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Default Mediation when there has been domestic violence

Brief history: we've been together many years and have a 3 year old daughter. There has always been a power struggle with us, him coming from a family with a very abusive father. There has recently been quite a bit of emotional and mental abuse, with one episode of physical violence against me. On average the physical violence only occurred 1-2 times a year.

We are planning on going to mediation to try to settle our issues first. For me the priority is to get a formal parenting plan and schedule set for our daughter. When we argue he is constantly trying to change things in order to hurt me or take control (he threatened to change the schedule we had been following for a month and a half since this began so that she would not be with me on the day our family was celebrating her birthday!! He came to his sense though)

I know that the balance of power seems to be with him, but I am a very strong negotiatior when it comes to legal issues and feel I might be able to hold my own with the help of a mediator. For now it seems that we both have her best interests at heart and are working quite well together.

I would like to know if anyone has any experience with mediation when there was some power imbalance like this. Did it work? Did you bring a lawyer? I know mediation is not recommended, but I am a strong person and despite his behaviour I have been able to hold my own against him even when stressed.

I just need some solid advice here. Also, I need to know what specific things are best to include in the agreement. The more detailed it gets for us, the less chance he will be able to manipulate it!

THANKS!
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Old 08-14-2009, 06:50 PM
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Everything I have read says that where domestic violence has occured that it should not go to mediation. However, I did not go that route (mediation) and would have absolutely choosen that path if I had to do it again. I am not sure why they say not to use mediation since past bad behaviour is often not included for spousal support (actually I may have to pay - love that).

I went the lawyer route and received sole custody with one Sunday afternoon visits every two weeks if it arranged 48 hours in advance. That part suits me fine.

I guess the question is the parent a fit parent if they are abusing the spouse. Who would be next? Is the Office of the Children's Lawyer Involved?

It sounds like you are very strong and would do well with mediation.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:50 AM
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He is definitely a fit parent. He has not been very involved in her daily care up to this point, but he has really taken on the task lately. I would be willing to have shared parenting, but I am leaning towards sole custody. I doubt he'll go for that though.

Unfortunately our daughter has heard the names he's called me. I don't think he would ever intentionally hurt her, but we all know you don't necessarily mean to do these things. I am most worried about him calling her names, or making fun of her or something. I don't want her self esteem to end up like his. His parents both called him stupid, etc quite often.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:10 AM
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maybe that is a point to bring up to him. Ask him how he really felt when his parents called him names etc. That may make him think twice about inflicting the same treatment on his child.
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Old 08-16-2009, 11:52 AM
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I will bring that up with him, but he will likely get defensive. Hopefully he will remember if it ever happens and he'll think twice
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