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"Mediation" tips???

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  • Canadaguy
    replied
    Personally I believe mediation is a waste of time. The problem is that the mediator "runs the show" as described previously. Their agenda is not to resolve the issues but to keep the sessions going to keep bleeding you of money. My mediator after 2 minutes of mediation said he wouldn't change the child's schedule and we spent $8,000 resolving nothing after that.

    The best way to tackle mediation is to have a 1 on 1 with the mediator without the ex present, give him your final parenting plan and tell him to take it to your ex, have her mark it up with a red pen which areas she doesn't agree on and then go from there. You don't care how she does it, on her own or with the mediator. Then at least you know where the line in the sand is drawn and which points you have to compromise on.

    Then, after reviewing her markups, defend your wants with best interest of child and why her's are not. Then go to mediation, explain that to the mediator (with her present) and where you are willing to compromise and how it would be unfair to the child if you agreed to her demands.

    At least that way you can close out some of the many "open issues" and leave the remaining ones for the arbitrator/judge to decide for you guys. If you present your case/points of view as being really in the best interest of the child and her's being bad for the child you will have good luck "winning".

    I would also do open mediator this was with the result being arbitration so that you don't have to go to court.

    Leave a comment:


  • arabian
    replied
    Thanks frustratedwithex. I knew it had something to do with money. She needs to get the correct court order so the child support can go through the MEP child recalculation program every year. She and her ex have 4 kids. Two live with him and two live with her. Both of their incomes fluctuate. My friend is self-represented. I will pass on your information to her.

    Leave a comment:


  • frustratedwithex
    replied
    iceberg - Do you know if you will be mediating all issues? Who ordered the mediation and why?

    In Alberta, if you have filed with the courts for child support, or a variation of support, it is automatically mediated before you are allowed in a court room. This is called DRO, Dispute Resolution Office.

    This is mediated by a family law lawyer and you will only discuss child support.

    She told me it's in a conference room in the family law centre. SHe said sometimes a lawyer is the mediator, not necessarily a judge.

    She isn't concerned as she says it's merely a manditory procedure most people have to go through and it doesn't take long at all.
    It takes place in a conference room at the court house and appointments are limited to 50min. You must have disclosed financial information or bring it with you.

    google DRO Alberta Justice for more info.

    Leave a comment:


  • frustratedwithex
    replied
    Originally posted by arabian View Post
    Iceberg a friend of mine told me yesterday she is going to have her custody order changed because it is a "global order" and MEP can't enforce anything until she gets a different court order. She has to go to mediation as it is manditory for her. She isn't concerned if her ex shows up or not. She told me it's in a conference room in the family law centre. SHe said sometimes a lawyer is the mediator, not necessarily a judge.

    She isn't concerned as she says it's merely a manditory procedure most people have to go through and it doesn't take long at all.
    A "global order" is when child support is ordered for more than 1 child and it isn't specified how much for each child.

    eg. "Child support will be paid monthly for "Sally" and 'Susan" for $xx amount of dollars.

    If one of the children are no longer a child of the marriage or the living arrangements change, MEP does not know how much to adjust the amount.

    It is better to have your court order say how much support is ordered for each child.
    Last edited by frustratedwithex; 04-14-2013, 01:42 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • arabian
    replied
    Iceberg a friend of mine told me yesterday she is going to have her custody order changed because it is a "global order" and MEP can't enforce anything until she gets a different court order. She has to go to mediation as it is manditory for her. She isn't concerned if her ex shows up or not. She told me it's in a conference room in the family law centre. SHe said sometimes a lawyer is the mediator, not necessarily a judge.

    She isn't concerned as she says it's merely a manditory procedure most people have to go through and it doesn't take long at all.

    Leave a comment:


  • billm
    replied
    Originally posted by arabian View Post
    I love the idea about the photograph.
    ...
    I'm not so sure - unreasonable and high conflict ex's banner reads "FOR THE CHILDREN!!".

    That is how they justify being (as perceived by reasonable people) unreasonable.

    Leave a comment:


  • arabian
    replied
    I love the idea about the photograph.

    Wear a nice pair of pants, shirt and perhaps a nice sweater. Be clean shaven, smell good and be sure to brush your teeth (the mother in me comes out).

    In situations where I am unsure of what is going to happen I like to be the listener and certainly don't try to take control of the meeting. When your ex is speaking and spewing lies don't react verbally or facially. Just jot down some notes.

    Don't interrupt the mediator at any time. Let the mediator control the meeting. Stay calm.

    At the end of the session be sure to thank the mediator and shake his/her hand - do this even if you are upset. Shows you are mature and level headed and know how to handle yourself even in difficult times.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rioe
    replied
    I've seen the suggestion go by that you bring a nice 8x10 of your child, to place on the table, so that everyone has that visible reminder of the most important part of the process.

    Other than that, I have no process suggestions, as my own mediation was quite non-standard. Be respectful, don't interrupt - take notes of things you want to address when it's your turn to speak again. Your ex has a knack for riling you up. Whether that's her style or your sensitivity I'm not sure, but you need to keep your cool and come across as the one who is being firm but reasonable. If the ex lies or makes nasty accusations, just sigh exasperatedly (while you count to ten in your head!) and refute them calmly.

    Your main issue is custody, so don't get drawn into nitpicking about other details. Indicate that you would do whatever it takes to keep (because you already have it) shared custody, and that you hope it would be in the child's familiar area because that's best for the child. If you must move houses to follow the child, you are willing to do so, provided the agreement is signed first, and includes clauses securing your shared custody, and that the child will not be moved schools or homes a second time without your consent. That way the ex can't sneakily bounce between these houses she has access to and make you move apartments every time.

    If you have a one-on-one session with the mediator first, this would be the appropriate time to bring up the fact that your ex's family has a strong influence on her, and that you suspect she will have a hard time expressing her own desires, and making a final decision without going back and consulting them.

    Mediation is not like court for dress code. Just be well-put together. No suit needed, but no jeans or sweatpants either.

    Watch carefully for the mediation going nowhere. You have a very reasonable position to begin with, so you should not be compromising much. Your ex is being very demanding and unreasonable, so if she does not start compromising, mediation is pointless and going back more won't change her mind.

    My mediation was brief, useful and we had a working agreement after a few sessions. But we were cooperative, and just needed help with what to include. Had I known about this forum then, it would have been even faster. Then our lawyers spent a year and a half and ten times as much of my money nitpicking about the wording before it was complete. Something else I could have avoided much of had I known about this forum.

    Leave a comment:


  • billm
    replied
    When dealing with high conflict people,

    Correct 'facts' that you disagree with but try always to provide empathy, attention, and respect whenever possible. Very hard to do sometimes, but if your goal is to resolve conflict, it helps.

    Leave a comment:

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