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To mediate or not to mediate

Somber posted 1/18/2021 15:21 PM

Iím not sure how to proceed.

I spoke with a lawyer today who recommended mediation. I expressed my concerned about my spouses manipulations and pathological lying. He explained that mediators are very well trained for this and I can mention that in a meeting to be taken into consideration.

Any thoughts?

Also to vent....I flippin hate the consequences that come with all this!!! Despite my spouses addictions, he is still entitled to 50/50 with the kids. Past behaviour can be used to request his sobriety while the children are in his care. This would be included in the separation agreement. That same past behaviour doesnít change much though. He has driven drunk with the kids, picked the kids up from school drunk and high on cocaine, left them home alone...that is enough in my mind. It sounds like they can be seen as Ďone offísí and as long as going forward he proves to be fit then all is good!
So I have to wait for something bad to happen while they are in his care to make any stronger request for more custody. Unfair, stupid! I hate it.

crazyblindsided posted 1/18/2021 15:31 PM

I'm actually happy to see you met with a lawyer. Good for you! I know mediation is usually if you both cannot decide on something or there is conflict. If you both agree on the 50/50 split you can have a lawyer draw up papers and no need for the mediation.

Somber posted 1/18/2021 15:41 PM

Thanks. Yes I am still moving forward in obtaining information and better understanding my options.

Iím just going to have a really difficult time accepting the losses!!! Itís so unfair. I donít trust his impulsive, unpredictable behaviour in caring for our children. Sure sometimes it may work out just fine and it has in the past and currently he isnít drinking. When this pandemic is over, bars are open and his buddies all drinking their life away again...I will worry. When summer is here and he is drinking in excess on the boat while our children are with him, I will worry myself sick. I canít control any of it. I hate it all. I donít know how to keep them safe. That was my main concern legally. Putting these demands in a separation agreement wonít stop him from doing what he wants when he wants...

EllieKMAS posted 1/18/2021 15:50 PM

Document document document. Every interaction, every time you suspect his is drinking, every time your kids tell you he's drunk or acting off... write it all down in detail.

No you maybe can't fight custody right now, but if he is drinking around your kids or drinking and driving while caring for them, you can and absolutely should get the courts involved. That's not you being vindictive, that is caring for your children's welfare.

If you ever suspect he is drunk when he has them, do not hesitate to call the cops to perform a wellness check. If he is drunk, that gives you a paper trail of documentation.

It is tremendously unfair, but do not be afraid to be a mama bear about taking care of your babies and use whatever means you have at your disposal to do so.

Bigger posted 1/18/2021 18:07 PM

Will your attorney guide you through the mediation?
Not as take the role of mediator, but would he be willing to go over drafts and ideas with you? Maybe the final draft for approval just to make sure your interests are met? I think maybe paying some hours for that service will definitely be cheaper than a contested divorce, and will also give you peace of mind.

barcher144 posted 1/18/2021 19:30 PM

I would recommend mediation if you believe that your STBX and his lawyer are interested in settling... if not, mediation is a waste of time and money.

In my case, my STBXW and her attorney used mediation to further some of their crazy-ass strategies (many of which worked, sadly). One "funny" thing is that we reached a number of verbal agreements at mediation. STBXW conveniently ignored the verbal agreements that she did not like and then accused me of violating the agreements that she did like.

DigitalSpyder posted 1/20/2021 07:28 AM

I have to second what Barcher said.

In my state its required, but my XWW had no use for anything so it went pretty easy. If they are combative about things, it'll just be a money and/or emotional drain.

Somber posted 1/20/2021 12:56 PM

Thank you all for sharing your input.

Bigger, I donít know if my lawyer will guide me...I donít know how any of this works. How do you go about mediation? Do you go through a lawyer or is it separate?

It may be worth a try to try and settle some things. Sometimes he is reasonable but he is also unpredictable so I never know what Iím gonna get from him behaviour wise.

my STBXW and her attorney used mediation to further some of their crazy-ass strategies
. I fear this but it very well may be this way no matter what route I go.
I also fear he may ignore the verbal agreements he doesnít agree on and accuse me of who knows what with the ones he does agree with. How did you deal with this Barcher??

Ellie, Iím documenting. I learned texts can be used so Iím saving those! It sucks that pay behaviour gets me nothing! So it was okay that he picked kids up drunk, high, drive drunk with them, left them home alone in March. No one cares! As long as going forward he proves he can care for them and keep them safe. So it is only behaviour when we are separated that will have an impact on child custody. Stupid!!! I have to ait back and wait for my kids to be harmed (hopefully it never happens) before I can do something more.

do not be afraid to be a mama bear about taking care of your babies and use whatever means you have at your disposal to do so
. Iím no longer afraid. I no longer care how he feels about me. So I will take care of my kids. It is just frustrating and disappointing that the evidence I have had doesnít amount to anything now!!!

barcher144 posted 1/20/2021 14:50 PM

Bigger, I donít know if my lawyer will guide me...I donít know how any of this works. How do you go about mediation? Do you go through a lawyer or is it separate?

You didn't ask me but in my area... mediation is super expensive because there are two lawyers plus a mediator there. Meaning, your lawyer will be present at the mediation and you will be responsible for your lawyer's fees plus half of the mediators fees.

I fear this but it very well may be this way no matter what route I go.

I also fear he may ignore the verbal agreements he doesnít agree on and accuse me of who knows what with the ones he does agree with. How did you deal with this Barcher?

I think the bigger issue in my divorce was that opposing counsel is the epitome of every lawyer-is-an-asshole joke that you have ever heard. She is slimy and dirty and unethical. I will literally be filing an ethics complaint against her once the judge reaches his decision in my case. To give you an example of the slime, her attorney complained at our temporary hearing that I took one of the kids to the doctor without STBXW's permission and that I refused to take allow STBXW to take a different child to her weekly therapy appointment. Then, at trial, the same lawyer complained that I never participated in any of the kids' medical care. You can't have it both ways, unless you are a lawyer, I guess.

The reason why I focus on the lawyer's behavior for mediation is because if your STBX has a normal/legitimate lawyer, then mediation might be better for you. Mediation would involve you, your attorney, his attorney, and an independent 3rd-party (likely also an attorney) who might be able to convince him that the law is not what he thinks that it is. However, if he gets an asshole attorney, then mediation will just be part of the game... and mediation will be a waste of money (at best) or harmful to your case (at worst).

My current GF is trying to go through her divorce right now. She and her ex get along reasonably well, but he definitely has moments of narcissism and assholery. For example, he has invented a list of "expenses" from the last five years that he believes are my GF's responsibility (total amount = $60,000). These were all marital expenses, so all three attorneys at mediation told him that his issue, even if valid (it's not, btw), would not hold up at trial. Having a third-party, independent person there seems to have helped convince him that his beliefs on what is fair is not supported by the law... so mediation has actually helped him get closer to a settlement.

In your case, if you had mediation (under non-COVID times), then I would recommend that you request different rooms (i.e., the mediator would go back and forth). My STBXW did this as part of her claim of domestic violence against me (you have to overlook that we carpooled to mediation, I guess).

Somber posted 1/20/2021 20:49 PM

Thank you, answer any question, give any advice!! Iím
grateful for it all ❤️

It all sounds so stressful, painful and time consuming. It sounds like it is lawyer dependent and clearly not all lawyers are there for your/the families best interests. You canít have it both ways unless your a lawyer...yikes. Sucks to hear that it really is that way or can be.

Different rooms, great advice. I would prefer that and I doubt we would carpool as you did. Iím trying my best to avoid any conversation with him. He has a talented manipulative way of spinning everything until I donít even know what point I was trying to make and instead defending myself for something said or done that has nothing to do with the current topic. It is so hard to explain; however, those who have also been on toxic marriages seem to understand the tornado of conversations with these types of people. There is never accountability, empathy and certainly no resolution so I just donít even bother talking to him anymore. He will ask to talk about it and I refuse. He asks why and I say that he is a pathological liar and manipulator and I will no longer subject myself to conversations with him. Itís all about action now!

Having a third-party, independent person there seems to have helped convince him that his beliefs on what is fair is not supported by the law..
t
This is what I would hope for. Good luck to you and your GF.

jb3199 posted 1/21/2021 06:46 AM

The last time I went to mediation(non-divorce related), I had my attorney with me.

The problem was that the opposing views were sooooo far off, that there was zero chance of coming to any productive agreement. So, in the end, it was just another wasted financial expense.

Personally, I would ask your lawyer if he has spoken to your WH's attorney, and if they think that they are even in the ballpark. If so, then it's probably not a bad idea. If not, then use your best financial judgement.

Somber posted 1/21/2021 07:46 AM

Thanks. I guess it can go either way, good or bad. Hard to know for sure.

I havenít secured a lawyer yet, I just had a free consult. I donít think he has a lawyer yet. I donít know how to choose a lawyer either. The one I saw was nice, honest. $375/hour. My friend told me to go to hers $500/hour. I saw one two years ago $300/hour, was thorough and honest but I was so unprepared.

We had to remortgage our marital home, which is bad timing, I know. We will just have to pay the penalty when we sell. There are all these forms to sign online which I completed. There was one additional paper form that my husband left on the counter for me the other day but never communicated that to me. So while I was at work, he was making me feel bad for not signing it. I contacted the mortgage broker to inform them that I would sign and submit today. This morning the form is gone, my husband took it upon himself to forge my signature. He now is saying Iím being retarded, it needed to be done and I was just dragging my feet...wtf! I contacted the mortgage broker to give him consent to the form, mentioning my husband went ahead and forged my signature. I didnít explain further, just provided him with consent and let him know that I was off today and happy to resign or refill out any forms necessary while apologizing for the delay and miscommunication.

Somehow, him signing my name is blamed on me. I usually donít react but I blew up saying that as per usual he will put all the blame on me. Apparently itís my fault that you Fíd half of our city during our marriage too. Then I told him to F off and leave me alone. Problem is, I know attacking him just makes things worse. He just isnít capable of seeing himself at fault. That makes this all so much harder!

[This message edited by Somber at 7:53 AM, January 21st (Thursday)]

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