Mediation Advice Please!
Hello, I (we) have our first joint mediation session on Zoom Weds morning and am wondering if anyone has any Mediation advice?
My ex and I split in May and she has allowed me to spend two days a week (I haven't been working much since the split and am self-employed) with our (nearly) three year old daughter, but will not allow overnights - probably because she's worried it'll affect her child maintenance payout (currently £950pcm). But no overnights means our daughter can never go on holiday with me or even see her (my) family that live over 100 miles away.
She initially rejected Mediation, and so after my MIAM in June the mediator issued me a c100 - which I filed online over three weeks ago, but haven't heard a peep back from the courts to say they've even received it..
But since I filed, she's had her own MIAM and so we're starting mediation Weds - although neither she or the mediator know I've filed the c100 to the best of my knowledge... I've been too scared to tell the ex as she'll probably completely cut off access in revenge.
So come Weds;
What should I expect from the joint sessions?
What is the format of the meeting? Am worried it will descend into a shouting match very quickly (on her part)
Can anything said or brought up be used for / against either of us in court?
Will the mediator give evidence / write a report that the court will see?!
Will it be recorded?
How many mediation sessions would be required before it's considered a lost cause? Because if we're going to court, I'd rather save my money for that.
I have nothing to hide and hope it works, but don't want to verbally agree to anything "in the room" or make a legal blunder that I will end up regretting later on.
Any advice from someone who has been through this process (successfully or otherwise) would be most appreciated as am a bit nervous, tbh!
The starting point should be a clear position. You need to be clear on what you are seeking and avoid changing your mind through the process as it could affect adversely affect negotiation.
Write down your proposal covering the below and send it to your ex ahead of mediation. Pre face with a paragraph on how much you love your child and want to be in their life.
-Half terms e.g Easter
The above might not relevant for a 2 year old but might be when they start pre-school or you meet a partner with school aged children and you want to coordinate.
Your child is two years old. Even if you went through courts, you wouldn't get 50/50 right away but build up to it. This could be:
Month 1: 1 over night
Month 2: 2 over nights
Months 3: Friday to Monday
Consider similar arrangement for your proposal.