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Old 10-22-2014, 09:05 AM
WEC WEC is offline
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Default Mediation

what would somebody need to go into their first mediation session? a new offer to settle or can a previous one be used?
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:11 AM
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Ask the mediator. It depends on the issues.

If it's the first session, it may help to start fresh and go in with a list of the issues rather than going in with a set of preconceived expectations for how to resolve them. You will want to bring some standard documentation like 3 years of tax returns, perhaps a current budget, an NFP if you have one.

Take this with a grain of salt. I haven't done mediation myself. Honestly, speak to the mediator.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:19 AM
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thank you. i'm asking for a friend. i think it's probably better that he goes in fresh but he thinks that since the last offer wasn't negotiated that it would be good enough. he's in court too and the parties were referred to mediation to try to settle.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:25 AM
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I found the negotiation of the separation agreement is basically a golden apple problem.

Each party has their "golden apple". This is the item or issue that they value more than all of the others. If the mediator or the parties can discover the golden apples (which sometimes aren't obvious) it becomes much simpler.

In my case, the golden apple turned out to be giving my partner back the down payment on our house which came from her family. She wasn't legally entitled to it, but it was the thing that pissed her off the most (me getting some of her family money in equalization). My golden apple was that I wanted joint custody and decision making because our son has special needs and I wanted him to have both parents involved in deciding how to get those needs met to give him the best chance of success.

Once we learned what was most important to each of us, the rest of the pieces (even spousal support) were agreed to much more easily.

It's also pretty much impossible to discover the golden apples by having lawyers firing angry letters at each other. The parties have to communicate with each other what they want, and why they want it. It can take time for that to all come out.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:45 AM
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oh i see. for him i think its fear of dividing assets and paying cs ss imho. for her i really think its about the kids and keeping them as close to their previous routines as possible. my friend isnt budging. maybe i can suggest to him your idea of the golden apples. thanks for the tip!
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:01 AM
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Ground rules for mediation! See my thread on this.
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:16 AM
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Both of their fears are probably stupid.

Let me explain.

If he makes more money, he's going to have to pay support. He will have to accept that.

The kids routines WILL change somewhat, and she's now going to have to share certain things with the dad. He might want 50-50, and she may not think that is reasonable. She will have to accept that it is.

The biggest thing that both parties can do to prepare for mediation is to accept that things have changed and will continue to change, and they need to pull their heads out of their asses and change with it.
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serene View Post
Ground rules for mediation! See my thread on this.
hi serene. can you point me to your thread? i'm new here.
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Straittohell View Post
Both of their fears are probably stupid.

Let me explain.

If he makes more money, he's going to have to pay support. He will have to accept that.

The kids routines WILL change somewhat, and she's now going to have to share certain things with the dad. He might want 50-50, and she may not think that is reasonable. She will have to accept that it is.

The biggest thing that both parties can do to prepare for mediation is to accept that things have changed and will continue to change, and they need to pull their heads out of their asses and change with it.
kids are 4 3 and 1 all girls. i never really liked the mother but saw the court material. ive grown some respect for her because she does sound pretty reasonable. she wants to get the kids to school age before a 50-50 and set a date when she proposes it to start. shes initially wanted a 30-70 but has compromised to a short-term 40-60. my friend wants her to agree to 20 so that he doesn't have to pay any support. this is what he wants to go into mediation with the offer that hasnt been negotiated. i encourage him to be more reasonable because this stuff gets found out and i don't think itll look good for him. who knows if he'll drop me as a friend but trying because i do care about what happens to him. can he lose the kids if hes unreasonable like that?
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Old 10-22-2014, 11:34 AM
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Her reasons for delaying 50-50 are unreasonable, as dad's are perfectly capable of handling even 1 year old kids just as well.

His reason of getting more access for his kids so that he doesn't pay support is callous and selfish.

He will not get them more than 60% unless she is incompetent, so he better accept early on that he will be paying some kind of child support if he makes more money than her. He should let the mediator explain exactly how it will go down.

From my own personal experience in mediation, I clued in pretty quickly that any posturing and maneuvering around child support is completely pointless. The amounts are largely determined by federally establish tables, and are difficult to challenge. He won't lose his kids by being an idiot about it, but he won't get them more than 60% of the time either, so he may as well just drop it. Same thing with division of assets. All assets and debt gets divided 50-50 in most cases, and it is only in the exact nature of the split (who keeps the house, who keeps the pension, etc. etc.) that either party has any control over.

With that stuff in mind, I made my own focus in mediation to be about managing how much I would have to pay (or not pay) in spousal. It was a smart decision on my part, because by settling the non-issues earlier, I was able to focus more on that little golden egg of mine.

Bottom line is that your friend needs to pick his battles, and know where to give concessions so that he has enough bargaining chips set aside to get the things that are most important to him.
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