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Divorce Support This forum is for discussing the emotional aspects of divorce: stress, anger, betrayal of trust and more.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09-25-2011, 09:35 PM
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Default Heading into Mediation and unsure of what to expect

I am heading into our first mediation session this week - a 5 way meeting with lawyers in attendance as well (because of some history and bullying attempts).

What can I expect? No issues have been decided upon to date (custody, living arrangements, possession of matrimonial home, financials). The session is booked for 3 hours. What do they generally deal with first? I am desperate to have the living arrangements ironed out - been couch serfing for almost 6 months on the weeks I don't have the kids and don't want it to last for much longer but cant get a place until financials are decided (I am paying pretty much full expenses for home, utilitities, kids leaving nothing left over for a second house).

If my ex is uncooperative on issues, how long does the mediation last until the courts get involved? Who makes that decision? My ex is happy to have the status quo go one forever as he has a second house to stay in expense free and I am paying all the bills for the matrimonial home.....
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Old 09-26-2011, 02:34 AM
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So?
What happened?

Did it go as you expected?

Whenever I went to a meeting with lawyers and ex (not exactly 'mediation' mind you) to sit down and talk about things I always wished afterwards that we had set an 'agenda' of sorts first.

There were a couple of issues I had not thought out well - and I was unprepared for the topics when they were brought up.

Other then that - I'm guessing you all just kind of sat down and tried to find some common ground?


***Oops

Thought the Original Post was a week older then it actually is.

Last edited by wretchedotis; 09-26-2011 at 02:37 AM. Reason: Oops...
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:46 PM
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Yeah....it has not happened yet.... conference with my lawyer tomorrow to discuss the issues that are most immportant to me. Hoping it goes well and it is civil and cooperative for the kid's sake - will let you know.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:30 PM
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Hey all....mediation happened today. 7 hours of abusive behavior directed towards me with my lawyer, the mediator and his lawyer telling him to tone it down, behave and be reasonable. Even his lawyer congratulated me for dealing with the crap for years in the "interests of the kids".

Tentative end result that he has agreed to:
I get the house, and most of the contents, for a cash payment to him that I can live with and is fair. I will have a roof over my head full time the roof I have been paying for solely for years!
I pay no SS as he needs to step up to the plate and work as his is able to work but has chosen not to work full time.
He takes on all his personal expenses - no longer my problem.
I pay CS but he now has to support the kids 50% of bills - meaning even after CS is paid, I am better off - no longer have 4 dependents, only 3 dependants.
50/50 custody BUT with the stipulation that it gets reviewed in 12 months. If he does not step up to the plate and parent like he claims he will, I get full custody at that point (up until now, I have worked full time, done 90% of child rearing, 90% of chores, paid 90% of the bills etc...). He wants a chance to prove that he will change and I am willing to give him that - the kids do need an involved, loving father.
Email communication alone, with stringent rules so that the abuse towards me stops.

No courts to go to, it will be settled, I will get my life back and be able to move on, get away from the abuse and start a new life I am happy.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:32 PM
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Oh....one key, I was prepared. I have every email, agreement and accusation in writing in an indexed folder, I had substantiated proof in a binder of every dispute on the financial statement...... within the first hour of my lawyer disputing his claims and lies with evidence, both the lawyers and the mediator began to turn to me for the real deal the rest of the day Preperation was the key!
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inseperationhell View Post
Oh....one key, I was prepared. I have every email, agreement and accusation in writing in an indexed folder, I had substantiated proof in a binder of every dispute on the financial statement...... within the first hour of my lawyer disputing his claims and lies with evidence, both the lawyers and the mediator began to turn to me for the real deal the rest of the day Preperation was the key!
How did you index the emails?
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frustratedwithex View Post
How did you index the emails?

I printed them off and put them in a binder, organized by date with a tab for every week. Then I went through every email and set up a spreadsheet in excel of the main issues (i.e. abusive behavior, financials, child issues, lies and changing of stories - meaning he would say something one week then deny it the next and do a 180 degree turn). I then listed under the main issues, a more itemized list of the issues - i.e. daycare expenses. Lastly, I gave each main issue a color and the itemized issue a number and marked the email with color coded post-it notes. Every time I needed to refer to a specific email, financial statement etc to support what I was saying, I scaned the spreadsheet and was able to have the supporting documentation at my fingertips within seconds (and the binder was a few hundred pages).

It took me hours of prep time (I mean hours) however worth every second of it. He came into the room completely unprepared and spouting off, lying, not keeping his stories straight. That killed him at the table.

I learned on this site - many wise people wrote - email communication only, document, document, document! They were all right!
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inseperationhell View Post
Yeah....it has not happened yet.... conference with my lawyer tomorrow to discuss the issues that are most immportant to me. Hoping it goes well and it is civil and cooperative for the kid's sake - will let you know.
What was this discussion? How did you discuss this with your lawyer? How did you decide what issues were relevant ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by inseperationhell View Post
Hey all....mediation happened today. 7 hours of abusive behavior directed towards me with my lawyer, the mediator and his lawyer telling him to tone it down, behave and be reasonable. Even his lawyer congratulated me for dealing with the crap for years in the "interests of the kids".


No courts to go to, it will be settled, I will get my life back and be able to move on, get away from the abuse and start a new life I am happy.
7 hours, unbelievable! Was the mediation binding? If not, how will the issues that were settled be followed through with?

Quote:
Originally Posted by inseperationhell View Post
I printed them off and put them in a binder, organized by date with a tab for every week. Then I went through every email and set up a spreadsheet in excel of the main issues (i.e. abusive behavior, financials, child issues, lies and changing of stories - meaning he would say something one week then deny it the next and do a 180 degree turn). I then listed under the main issues, a more itemized list of the issues - i.e. daycare expenses. Lastly, I gave each main issue a color and the itemized issue a number and marked the email with color coded post-it notes. Every time I needed to refer to a specific email, financial statement etc to support what I was saying, I scaned the spreadsheet and was able to have the supporting documentation at my fingertips within seconds (and the binder was a few hundred pages).

It took me hours of prep time (I mean hours) however worth every second of it. He came into the room completely unprepared and spouting off, lying, not keeping his stories straight. That killed him at the table.

I learned on this site - many wise people wrote - email communication only, document, document, document! They were all right!
Wow!! Did you discuss this with your lawyer? Did your lawyer know you had organized all of this information and did your lawyer have a copy of it before your mediation?
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by frustratedwithex View Post
What was this discussion? How did you discuss this with your lawyer? How did you decide what issues were relevant ?
The mediation had the lawyers in attendance. The discussion with my lawyer beforehand was to go through every issue to be resolved in mediation (i.e. custody, CS, SS, imputing of income, financial statement, living arrangement etc). We went through each one and figured out what I wanted and would go to the table with. Then we discussed what I was willing to negotiate with, what I could live with (as opposed to want) so that we were prepared to make deals i.e. on issue A I don't want to budge but will give this type of concession on issue B in return.

Quote:
7 hours, unbelievable! Was the mediation binding? If not, how will the issues that were settled be followed through with?
The mediation will be binding. A few minor things to sort out in the next couple of days (i.e. I have to talk to the bank about assuming the mortgage on my own). Next week the mediator along with our lawyers will draw up a formal seperation agreement that will be signed and binding.

Quote:
Wow!! Did you discuss this with your lawyer? Did your lawyer know you had organized all of this information and did your lawyer have a copy of it before your mediation?
Yes, my lawyer knew I organized all this information (actually my lawyer was impressed with my documentation and it made her job much easier and cost me less in legal fees). My lawyer was given copies a month before mediation and able to get a very good sense of the situation and arguments she could use in mediation for each of my positions.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:04 PM
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Did you go through Questioning/Discoveries before your mediation?
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