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Did anybody go thru Mediation instead of an attorney?

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Jayne Doe posted 5/7/2013 19:06 PM

I have everything to gain from using my attorney. And I have a great attorney.

But I hate this.
Our attorneys want us to provide 5 years of bank statements. I already provided 3!! I made the mistake of casually asking how they would know if stbxh was hiding something. Simple question, right? Their response - they sent him more paperwork. And in retaliation I got the same paperwork.
I don't care how much money he spent 5 years ago and I sincerely doubt that he cares how much money I spent at Target 5 years ago. It doesn't matter anymore.

I hate this. I really really hate this. 4 months into it and I feel like a hamster spinning on a wheel, throwing money out for every phone call in between laps on the wheel.

But I don't hate him. Were there times when I wanted to take a rock and smash it thru his precious car window? Hell ya. Was there a moment when I had to leave the house because I was so angry when I realized that he brought her there that all I wanted to do was grab the gun that he keeps in his nitestand? Yep, I was shaking with anger but found the strength to walk away from that. I went thru hell and back. And I am back. I still want to smack him, but I don't hate him.

I just want to move on. I don't think it matters how much my couch is worth. I don't care about his couch either. I don't care. But our attorneys sure do.

My attorney is fighting for a nicer outcome then I asked for. It hasn't been mediated yet. Our first appointment in court is next week....dreading that. I'm not a confrontational kind of person. I know, my fantasy of shooting him and smashing in his car windows may make you doubt that.... but that was not me. That was some crazy woman who took over my body for a few minutes.
If we continue on the path that we are on, we are going to end up despising each other. I've known him for 35 years. He was family to me. I don't want to get to the point where we are at our DDs wedding one day years from now and we can't even look at each other. That would break my heart.

I actually called a mediator today. I'm the one that has more to lose in that situation. But the thought of sitting around a table with him, yelling and screaming with a mediator there sounds alot better than all of this... never ending paperwork, court dates and fees, fees and more fees.

I just want to be done. I just want to move on.

I composed an email to him proposing this option. But I saved it in my drafts. I'm going to sleep on it. As I said, I have a great attorney.
I need to think this thru, I am kinda weepy today.

Anybody out there that chose mediation instead of attorneys? I'd love to hear from you.

phmh posted 5/7/2013 19:30 PM

I didn't do mediation, but XWH and I agreed on our settlement together (without mediators or lawyers) and had an attorney draft it so we'd hopefully have fewer complications. We represented ourselves in court and basically just had to be there for the judge to sign off on it.

We each did a consultation with an attorney (I did two consultations) to see what the likely outcome would be if we went to court. Then we agreed on something. I probably could have done better financially if we went to court, but I was starting a new job and didn't need the stress, to take extra days off, or to pay attorneys.

I am happy with my decision, but we had a unique set of circumstances in that there are no kids and we both make good money.

In my case, I believe my ability to focus at work since I wasn't dealing with divorce stuff led to a bigger financial windfall (in terms of promotion and bonus) than what I could have received from him.

Like many things in life, it's a trade-off. I don't tell my story too often since I think that most couples are better off with attorneys, but this is what worked for us.

Dreamboat posted 5/7/2013 21:51 PM

How cooperative are you with him right now, and vice versa?

Can you have a conversation about something more in depth than the weather without ripping each other apart?

Do you really think stbx is hiding something, or was that a passing thought?

Do you have any idea what he wants in the D? Do you have any idea what you want? How far apart are you?

These are the types of questions you need to think about. If he is out for blood (or you are) then mediation will not be very helpful. But if you think that the two of you have similar goals in mind, wrt the D, and neither are being nasty and hateful, then mediation may be the way to go.

I always advise people on SI to get a L. Always always always. But I also advise them to TELL the L what they want instead of allowing the L to drive the D. When I was getting a D my frined told me that there are 2 types of D lawyers: One will ask what you want and work to get that done with the least amount of drama. The other will tell you what you need and push you to get more. The significant difference in the end result are the fees you pay the L.

If your L is not listening to you and pushing for more and more, then he/she may be looking out more for their bottom line than for your best interest. But is your stbx is NPD and uncooperative and is out for blood then this L may be exactly what you need to protect yourself.

I did not mediate. Instead I told my L what I wanted and he drew up the papers. When he pushed for more, I said no. I then presented the settlement to my x who was feeling very guilty and he signed off on it without even getting a L. I know this is not the norm, but it is was a strategy that worked for me because I knew my X so well and knew he was feeling guilty and would sign almost anything that was seemingly fair at that time.

You know your stbx. Create a strategy given that knowledge.


ImNellNow posted 5/7/2013 22:43 PM

We did both... lawyer for each of us and mediator to draw up the draft petition.

I got an extremely generous settlement. Why?
1. I hired a very experienced (and expensive) lawyer, while Daffy hired someone who was blowing on the ink on his JD paper so it wouldn't smudge when he framed it.
2. I did my homework... spent nearly $1,000 in lawyer fees prior to the mediation so I knew what to do, what to say, what to fight for, what to let go and even how to play Daffy.
3. I didn't leave Daffy and the mediator in the room alone together ever. Meanwhile, Daffy took several lengthy breaks, where upon I asked some innocent questions to let the mediator know exactly what Daffy had done for maximum sympathy.
4. Guilt. Daffy's BPD mommy helpfully instilled a huge guilt reflex in him.

Then we each took the mediator's work to our respective attorneys. Mine was impressed with the terms. His didn't know enough to realize that Daffy was screwing himself to the wall.

I'm pretty okay with the way things went down.

ButterflyGirl posted 5/7/2013 23:43 PM

Someone can stop me if I'm wrong, but I think at any point in the divorce you can ask your lawyer to help you draft and send him settlement offer to just get things over with.. I guess I'm a little surprised you have a court date coming up without having gone to mediation first. Perhaps it's just Florida, cause I think in my state you have to attempt mediation at least once before taking it to trial. We've gone once and are scheduled to go back, but he's NPD, on his third financial affidavit, and was trying to hide his pension plan and still hasn't disclosed it, so I have a feeling this will take a while..

If your attorney is fighting for more than you asked for, it does seem like he's worried about his bottomline more than yours; but if he's good, I would try mentioning the settlement offer idea to him and see what he says. If you think you and ex can be come to some fair agreements, and your lawyer can make sure you get what you want and need, that sounds a lot better than a trial..

I guess it's like mediation, but instead of going and talking to the mediator to work things out, you just write it all down and offer it to him.. Perhaps then a few counteroffers, etc., but maybe it would work for you.

Just a thought.. Good luck!

SeanFLA posted 5/8/2013 12:15 PM

I can tell you from my experience that my lawyer brought up a lot of angles I probably would have not even tried given my emotions being involved. In my opinion it's a very stressful and emotional time for both. You might be feeling different emotions than him. My lawyer keyed in on that at mediation with her and used her guilt to get me much more than I ever expected. My attorney sensed that through experience. Plus they help keep your emotions in check and make recommendations outside of that. I think it just depends how much you need to fight for and what you are hoping to get out of it. My attorney had me write down five major things I needed. We ranked them in order and addressed them that way. We were also in separate rooms with the mediator running back and forth. I can tell you that's the way you want to do it. this way you don't have to look at him as your life is dissected.

HopeImOverIt posted 5/8/2013 12:16 PM

We mediated, thinking it would save money for us/our kids. I also hired a lawyer on an hourly basis to review the drafts and give me advice.

Our mediation discussions got pretty heated at times. But I suppose it does help prevent some of the ridiculous back-and-forth demands that seem to occur in some litigated divorces.

I am sure that it saved me a lot of money.

Him, not quite as much, because he let his lawyer insert clauses that I hadn't agreed to in mediation, and then had to pay his lawyer to revise the draft yet again after I objected. Maybe he thought his lawyer was "good" for thinking up more things to ask for, but in the end he didn't get more and it cost him extra in legal fees. I still think he saved quite a bit and would also recommend mediating.

Jayne Doe posted 5/8/2013 16:45 PM

I decided I'm going to stick with my attorney. My stbxh and I do not talk anymore, we don't even email.

My attorney knows what I want and is going above and beyond - probably to allow for the give and take that will come.

I was just having a weak moment yesterday, glad I slept on it... and deleted the email draft this morning

Back to being my idol... Ivana Trump "Don't get mad, get everything"

GreatRoleModel posted 5/9/2013 11:22 AM

We each had our own lawyer and then we went to a mediator. We each were in our own room and mediator went back and forth between the rooms. It was great bc I didn't have to face STBX. Also having a lawyer of your own will think of long term issues you hadn't thought of, that's why you pay them.

Ashland13 posted 5/9/2013 12:33 PM

We each have our own lawyer and they are each mediators, I noted that in the phone book ad for his.

It was asked of me by my lawyer if I wanted to attempt mediation prior to the court part and what both of them said is that this set of meetings should, in theory, cut down the bills and time spent in this neighborhood of hell.

There will be court to face at the end, they tell us, where a judge is there and declares us unmarried and the papers have their pomp and circumstance or something, kind of like a finale.

I was trying not to notice the differences in the lawyers, but it was very hard not to.

I was horrified at the projected cost this divorce is going to be and I have to borrow it all, without a job to pay it back. It is like this man who was my friend and spouse for 20 years is now a puppet master, with a giant grin like the Joker, trying to see how far down he can push me.

The hardest part of mediation for me is two fold: facing him across that table pretending he's emotional and sad and hearing the voice that used to comfort me, being "good old boys" with his lawyer and actually making fun of a friend of ours and our town, right in front of me.

Even after all of this, he's trying to keep control on us.

Sorry to ramble, this is a very personal thing and apparently a trigger.

Good luck in the end of your journey and start of a new one.

Ashland13 posted 5/9/2013 12:34 PM

P.S. A big issue is "our" house, which they are pushing to be sold. So Perv's lawyer informed me, "I am a broker, you can count on me!" with a big smile.

So right in front of him, I turned to my lawyer and asked, "Would you have my back on another transaction if/when?" and of course he said yes, but pullleeaeaaassee! I'm sure this was all very calculated to say ahead of time.

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