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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 10-08-2008, 02:21 PM
chinyuk chinyuk is offline
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My ex and I are still sitting on a few key issues in order to finalize the separation agreement. However, we are both hold our fort on the issue and can't proceed any further. She has suggested to go through mediation which as far as I know, is a key step prior to bringing the case to court. However, I know there is a cost associated with it and I am really not willing to spend any more money on this case unless absolutely necessary. So this is what I like to know:

1) Can I unilaterally reject mediation and what would be the consequences?
2) Can I set a fixed amount I am willing to contribute to mediation and not share the cost equally?
3) Many times, in FL, it is really about which party is willing to give in first and that party usually is the one that can no longer handle the pressure. As far as I am concern, there isn't anything urgent on my end that bother me enough to give in, should I stand firm on my disagreement. Just FYI, the disagreement isn't anything unreasonable, I think I have mention my child schedule and possible change from current schedule in another post. That's the one major disagreement we have. And according to a few of you, you do think there is a chance the court might award me such request due to the fact it is quite reasonable.

Knowing how tough she is, chances are, it would be that end up backing out on certain point so that's why I think going through mediation isn't going to help much as long as I stand pat. Beside, mediation has no power to make anything bind so they really are in the power to do anything more if neither party gives in.

Thanks for your help in advance
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:07 PM
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Maggie82 Maggie82 is offline
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Check with your city's social services department. You will be able to find mediators there who may be able to provide subsidized (or free) services. This information should be available on your city's website.

Also, although mediation is a preferred step, it is not mandatory. We went to mediation for 2 years, with three different mediators, the last being a well-known high-conflict mediator. Nothing got resolved. We had some agreements drafted, but the bio-mom refused to sign on the dotted line, each time, because she'd all of a sudden change her mind on issues that were already agreed-upon, and want things her way, or no way at all. Finally, we went to court, and it was the best thing that could have happened.

Sometimes, mediation is more of a hassle than court.
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:46 PM
chinyuk chinyuk is offline
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Maggie, I am in total agreement with you on mediator, I don't believe it will change much. Although this is the usual step to court as sometimes the court will simply reject a case because they felt nothing has been done to try to resolve the issue on their own. I think the court rather deal with less than more FL issue and would prefer the decision be settle on their own.

Having said that, I would really like to ask you when you went to court, as the issue was settle, was the result acceptable by you? Did you feel fair at the end of the day about the decision. Your information is much appreciated.
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Old 10-08-2008, 05:32 PM
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Maggie82 Maggie82 is offline
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Chinyuk, in a nutshell, this is our story:

Year 1 - Year 2: We tried to settle things with bio-mom and her family... to no avail.
Year 3 - Year 4: We tried to settle things in mediation, with 3 different mediatiors (even a high-conflict mediator)... to no avail, despite there being several drafts of "agreements."
Year 5 - Year 6: We began the legal process by communicating through lawyers and having sit-down meetings with our respective lawyers, trying desperately to come to an agreement of some sort. Once again, nothing got resolved, even after we fired/hired a couple lawyers.
Year 7: We couldn't take the bio-mom making unitateral changes on whims anymore, and not being able to do anything about it, and took the matter to court. We had our first court date a month after doing the paperwork. From our first court appearance, until we had a final order in place, it took 3 months.

We are happy with our court order because it is fair. We were treated very fairly by the judge (we were lucky in that sense) and the judge made us compromise on issues we felt strongly about. Other issues that we couldn't agree on, he simply ordered them to both parties equally.

We were very happy with the order when we got it. Now, a year later, there are a few minor details that we would like to change... but only with the issues that we "compromised" on or that were ordered based on the situation at the time (and our current situation is different). However, it's still better than not having an agreement/order at all.

Hope this helps. If you have any questions, feel free to message me!
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:56 AM
wondering50 wondering50 is offline
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Mediation will only work if both parties are ready to negotiate and compromise to reach an agreement. If one or both are in an absolutely stand pat mode, there is no point to participating.
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