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TOPIC: Mediation

Mediation 3 years 4 months ago #75410

Hi all, new to the site and looking for a little advice and info!

My ex of 4 years has recently requested my attendance at mediation. I am aware that it is a voluntary process and also aware that for her it may potentially be a prelude to family court.

My concern is that my ex partner has issues that she feels cannot be resolved amicably between the two of us, however I am currently unaware of what the issues are as they have never been discussed with me.

I have read up on mediation and appreciate that it can help resolve family issues at a lower price than the legal route. My thoughts however are that it can still be rather costly. As I am aware most fees are on a sliding scale based on earnings. I do earn a good wage on paper, though I do have financial difficulties as I'm still struggling to catch up on costs that hit in the two years following our separation.

For now my inclination is to refuse mediation and put this in writing to both the mediation centre and to my ex partner. Instead I would like to attempt to resolve matters through correspondence where records are kept, either email or letters. This way if my ex feels like we can't discuss issues face to face, there is at least documented evidence of trying to address our issues before involving another party or bringing in any financial costs for ourselves.

I was looking to see how people think this initial refusal for mediation may affect me down the line or if this is a reasonable suggestion?

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Last Edit: by Chris86uk.

Mediation 3 years 4 months ago #75414

  • Mojo
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Hi there

In family law Mediation is a pre requisite before court action can be taken, she as the potential applicant would need to get the mediators signature on the court form before a court application can be made, you as the respondent can refuse mediation.

Mediation can be used to help resolve financial issues, as well as trying to sort out arrangements for any children involved and can be used to reach agreement on divorce proceedings.

Whilst I appreciate that mediation can be costly, if only one or two sessions are needed then it is cost effective. If you wish for a written a record of agreements reached, you can request prior to attendance that any agreement reached can be written into a Memorandum of Understanding, or further that it become legally binding via a consent order from court.

If you didn't wish to sit in the same room with your ex you could also request shuttle mediation, this is where you would be in separate rooms and the mediator would go between you to try and reach agreement.

In cases involving children, its not uncommon for mothers to refuse to attend mediation and it doesn't appear to go against them if it goes to court. However I have no experience of it the other way round and whist I would hope that it works both ways, I have my doubts and it may be made more of by CAFCASS when writing up their report for the court if the father refuses to engage.....it depends on the case itself and also the judge on the day.

Where mediation is used as part of the divorce process or to sort out finances, the effect of a refusal to engage might be seen as obstructive...it's hard to call.

My personal opinion is that attendance for one session of mediation is reasonable and depending on that a decision can be made on whether to continue, that way you are being seen to engage rather than an outright refusal to do so.

Best of luck

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DadTalk Moderator... I'm not legally trained and my responses are my own views based on my experiences of the family court. I have plenty of common sense and can offer you emotional support and guide you to answers.

Mediation 3 years 4 months ago #75418

Hi and thank you for your response.

I appreciate the positives of mediation and I have no intention of it being a permenantky refusal. However, given that I have no knowledge of the issues she may have and whilst understanding that she may not wish to try and speak directly to me. I would like to see if we can perhaps resolve anything through a written discourse first. Both of us will be aware the other has recorded copies and it leaves much less room for blowing a fuse. Additionally by attempting to do this as a first step it could potentially help both of us financially if things can be resolved without any intervention.

My intention would be to communicate this both to here and the mediation centre from whom I received invitation, which I would hope, in any further developments would not look negatively in my favour since I am actively making the effort to resolve any issues that my ex partner has.

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Mediation 3 years 4 months ago #75487

HI Chris

Im the opposite to your circumstances -I attended mediation but my ex partner did not. I know the costs are high but I would recommend mediation. I found it to be a useful tool to speak about my circumstances and to hear the input from the mediator. It gave me a chance to think rationally about what it was I was trying to achieve and to air my frustrations. As my partner did not attend I only had to have the one meeting and then my C100 was signed off.

Best of luck to you going forward

frank

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Mediation 3 years 4 months ago #75509

  • Yoda
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Mojo has given you good advice. Personally, I would try and attempt to attend if you can if you think she is likely to submit an application to court. If the issues are mainly trivial, you may end up with a court order to attend anyway. If she doesn't want to resolve the issues with you directly, you can't force her to do that.
Good luck

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DAD.info Moderator

I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.
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