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Parenting mediator

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waterloo09 posted 6/4/2014 21:46 PM

Have you gone to one? was it helpful? long story but my ex wants more time with the kids (not half) and to stop paying child support. Our lawyers wrote letters back and forth with nothing being settled. Now they say we should see a parenting mediator. Ex has agreed to do this and place an $1800 retainer. Even though he is in arrears on child support... that seems crappy to me. anyway I'm hesitant to go, what if I get talked into this thing?

MovingUpward posted 6/4/2014 21:59 PM

Do you have 50-50 now? If so then if there is no negligence on your part then I wouldn't change it to have less time.

Can you sue for contempt of court in Canada since he is in arrears on child support but can afford an $1,800 retainer.

Also I wouldn't go to a parenting mediator. I'd put more faith in a custodial evaluation. In my area this is performed by a licensed mental health professional that evaluates each parent and how the parent interacts with the children and then makes a recommendation based on WHAT IS BEST FOR THE CHILD. If you don't go this route of an evaluation then focus on WHAT IS BEST FOR THE CHILD in your talking points with your attorney or others. Irresponsible is right there as well as undependable just look at the Child Support which is money for the KIDS.

risingfromashes posted 6/5/2014 08:31 AM

Mediation is a great way to come to a mutual agreement. It is the mediators job to facilitate a discussion between you and ex about what is in the best interest of the children. If you involve the courts there is no negotiating. A professional does an assessment and they make a unilateral decision. In some cases especially clear cut situations this is the best route and I agree with Moving.
In mediation you do not have to agree to anything you do not want. When the parties involved come to their own conclusions there is a higher percentage of compliance.
I am currently working on my Masters in mediation and conflict resolution.
I would also add that the child support issue should be brought up. And remember that just because someone has qualifications to mediate does not mean they are good at it or are the right fit for you.

waterloo09 posted 6/5/2014 21:24 PM

He takes the kids every other weekend and has for the past 5 yr. Now he proposes a crazy schedule because he works odd shifts. It involves weekdays and picking kids up at 8:00 pm and drop offs at 7:00 am. He lives out of town, a half hour drive is involved. I don't think it is good for the kids, and I'm pretty entrenched in that view. Him being in arrears, bouncing cheques and sending nasty emails doesn't help. I'm worried the mediator will push me to allow it. On the other hand if it would result in respectful communication with him it might be worthwhile. My lawyer said this mediator is very good, she has worked with her in higher conflict situations. I don't know about contempt of court or custodial evaluation. Never heard of it in Canada but I'm not super aware of legal stuff.

Skan posted 6/7/2014 15:56 PM

Frankly, I would be more inclined to see a mediator once the CS arrears were taken care of. I see no plus in this for you. You're going to have to spend money to go to someone who is probably not going to be able to help since your XWH has his head so far up his ass that I doubt that he can get it out. And if mediation fails, then he still has to bring you to court which is yet more money.

risingfromashes posted 6/7/2014 21:59 PM

If a mediator pushes anyone to do anything walk out. That is not their job!

cmego posted 6/7/2014 22:16 PM

Pretty sure that the arrears is a separate legal issue than visitation, at least in my state. Could be completely different in other states/countries. I'd clarify with your L.

Our mediator was very good. She took ex down a notch or two when he needed it. She would say, "Now, cmego, do you like the was ex is speaking to you right now?" I would reply, "No. I don't." She would then say, "I expect respectful communication in this room and if you are unable, we can suspend the meeting."

whipped his butt into shape.

Don't agree to anything you do not think is in the best interest of your children. Period.

devistatedmom posted 6/8/2014 12:39 PM

So, when he brings up he wants to pick up at 8pm and drop off at 7, your only response is, "I do not see how that benefits the children." It's obvious he just wants that so he as the overnight without any of the work.

Let HIM sit there and try and justify how the kids being with you, having dinner, doing homework, and THEN him picking them up to drive half an hour to go to bed, then up earlier than normal in the morning to come back to you to get to school on time is GOOD for them.

He won't be able to justify it benefiting the kids, other than he wants it because it gives him another overnight against CS. You know it. He knows it. The mediator should know it.

Sit there, quietly. Let him try and explain it in a way it will make sense. See what the mediator says.

Your answer at the end is, for 5 years they have been at my house on school nights, and they are well adjusted, doing well in school, etc., etc. I do not see how this change would give them any more time to actually spend with dad, it would just screw up their sleep on a school night. Then, walk out if there isn't anything useful to say.

The plus of mediation, is you can ALWAYS say no. Also, if you are afraid you might get talked into something, you can say I will have to think about that, and end the discussion.

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