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TOPIC: Mediation and new partners

Mediation and new partners 3 years 1 month ago #87138

I've posted on here a couple of times in the past before my ex partner gave birth to our son. He is now approaching 18 months old. We only dated for around 3 months and were seperated before we found out she was pregnant, the relationship was not working, so I decided I would rather be a part time father, than an uphappy father in a bad relatioship,

I have not behaved perfectly, however I have always tried my best to be civil, respectful and reasonable, as hard as this may be at times. I have been seeing a Counsellor since we discovered that she was pregnant in order to try to come to terms with the situation that I have found myself in.

Although I would never say this to our son, his mother is a manipulative bully who has subjected me to a sustained campaign of control and harassment since before he was born. She turns up and my house and my work and creates a scene, I have had the police involved on two seperate occassions and I am noted as a "person at risk" at the local station. One minute she loves me, the next she hates me, she wants me involved, then she doesn't want me involved. Any access arrangements were sabotaged and lasted a couple of weeks at most. She insisted that she be present at any contact i had. I've spent clost to £3k on solicitors fees and have achieved nothing, although I have never actually gone so far as to launch court proceedings as I was advised to use this as a last resport.

She banned my mother from seeing him early on, breaking my mothers heart. Very few of my friends have ever met him, she thinks this is me showing him off. Now I have a partner, which has gone down like the proverbial lead baloon. There was talk of Mediation, however in order for her to attend she insisted on meeting my new partner before she would enter into any negotiations.

The harassment peaked a few weeks back, to the point where for everybodies sake I had to step away. I was encouraged by her to have my solicitor write her a letter that states I shall no longer exercise my parental rights, that she should no longer contact me, but that should our son ever wish to contact me he can contact my Solicitor who shall make the contact.

This didn't last long, it never does. Now she has asked what it would take for me to be involved in my sons life. I responded mediation to reach an agreement, if she refused that then access through a contact centre and if she refused that then let the courts decide. I have no desire to have any relationship with her, at one point I had thought we may be able to be friends, but this is no longer possible due to her actions. My Counsellor is wary of me getting back involved with her as the past 2+ years have taken a massive toll on every aspect of my life and she thinks I am finally getting my life back on track and getting back in control.

To my surprise she has responded to say that she would do mediation, however has insisted that my new partner does an intake meeting so that she can meet her. This is actually something that I suggested previously when she was insisting she meet her before entering into mediation as I had thought the controlled environment would be a better venue for this. However, now my stance has changed and my opinion is that mediation is about establishing my relationship with my son, with his mother, nobody else really matters at the minute. I have no control around who she has around him, so why should she get to have a say about who I have around him? I want to build my relationship with my son, I wouldn't want him and my new partner meeting until I am ready for this.

Am I being unreasonable to refuse to let my ex meet my new partner? Is there any requirement that says that they need to meet?

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Mediation and new partners 3 years 1 month ago #87140

  • Yoda
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Hi there

I would normally say pick your battles, but it doesn't sound like this will work here. There is no legal requirement for her to meet your partner. Not unless you agreed to do it in front of a judge and it formed part of an order.

I think you have to be strong but blunt. Say that you will not be setting up a meeting with your partner right now as you have no intention of her meeting your son yet.

Sadly, I do not think mediation will work with the mother due to what you say has happened so far. Court is always a last resort, but I think at this point, I wouldn't suggest wasting hours on mediation with someone so difficult and unstable. If she offers a contact centre, take it but still apply to court.

Be prepared for things to get worse before they get better once you make that application.

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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