First of all, thank you for your positive thoughts ... it worked! I went in feeling prepared and that helped keep my nervousness manageable.
Thankfully, I liked the mediator. He really encourages settling without going to court. He also felt my positions were not unreasonable. In fact, he did not understand why my stbx would be unwilling to provide continued support for DD18. He stated gently that parents normally want to (if they are able to and stbx IS able to) provide support and wanted to know if I knew why stbx didn't want to. You all know what I wanted to say.
I hate when people assume the reason why my kids don't have a relationship with stbx is because of me. What the fuck? The mediator asked me what can "I" do to help stbx feel connected with his kids so that he feels he should support them. Oh fuck me. Don't worry ~ I spelled it out for him. He ended up telling me that I am putting my children's needs first. I said that's why we are here ~ let's put their needs first.
My stbx is trying to get out of sharing his pension with me but the mediator stated that it was a given. He doesn't even know why stbx's attorney is trying to sneak that in. He says I don't have to fight for it ~ it's standard calculations. Phew.
The mediator went on and on about the benefits of settling and NOT going in front of a judge. I get that. I don't want to go to court. But then what rubs me the wrong way is as soon as the mediator left, my attorney starts talking to me about going to court. Back it up a bit ~ the sticking point for DD18 is that she is not in school full time (one year medical leave due to disability) so stbx wants to drop supporting her. My attorney tells me she has to be enrolled by October (our court date) if I want child support.
I told them that if it comes down to forcing DD18 to go to a school that isn't appropriate for her AND she is not emotionally/psychologically prepared for in order to receive child support, I don't want the child support. Why would I subject my child to more emotional distress? I said I am NOT going to risk having her rehospitalized and/or trigger a suicidal ideation or an attempt. Shit, we'll go without before that happens.
Then my L is asking me to ask the kids therapist about being subpoena. I don't want to do that because of the added costs for just a couple of years of support.
Can you believe that there has been only 1 case in Hawai'i involving an adult child with a disability? Well, I guess just one case that went all the way to the court.
Anyways, I don't want to go to court over child support for DD18. It would be just for at the most, 2 years anyway. It wouldn't be cost effective for me to pay my L another $10,000+ just for a couple of years of support. I will be starting the SSDI process but that could take months IF she is approved.
What I want to try to do is have the decree state that child support for DD18 be suspended during her medical leave and reinstated if/when she enrolls for school. Do any of you foresee any issues or problems with this that I'm not seeing?
We didn't even get to the reimbursement part yet. The mediator meets next week with stbx and his attorney. The week after that, we all meet together and try to settle. I hope he pays me back. For those that went through this already, if your ex owed you money (not related to child support), how is it worded in the decree to get paid back?
Thank you for your support! I hope some of you will respond to my two questions (fingers crossed). Good night!