22 May 2018 at 11:10 pm #11580
I just need advice on mediation and how it works really.
To cut an immensely long story short, my husband and I separated 7 months ago when he left me and our daughter to move straight in with the woman he was having an affair with and her 5 kids. Its been hideous and his behaviour has been pretty awful from the start – verbally abusive and controlling and down right spiteful, on occasion.
Anyway…I’ve stayed in the family home which I hope to be able to keep and our daughter lives with me, visiting her father as it fits in with work. We both work rotating shift patterns – he is full time and I am part time – and we had several hours of unofficial mediation with the family support worker at school to write up a parenting plan and come up with a calendar for when our daughter would see her father.
She has a couple of nights there a week and goes over for tea quite a bit. It has to be different days each week because of work but we plan well ahead and our daughter has a calendar so she can see when she is going to see her dad. It’s complicated but it works.
This week, we were both sent a copy of the parenting plan (not yet signed). There is a sentence in it that says our daughter will see her father every 4 days. I get the sentiment behind it but this was never discussed and is totally impractical due to our working hours. I would never have agreed to it and it throws the calendar we had, in to total chaos.
My ex, however, has run with it and taken it upon himself to totally rewrite the calendar for the next 6 months, awarding himself substantially more time with our daughter than was agreed in mediation. Even saying that she’ll be at his for tea on quite a few occasions when he won’t even be there!!! He doesn’t get home till 6-ish on a good day and expects her to go home with his new partner and hang around waiting for him, so she can see him for half an hour before he brings her home at bed time.
I’m seeing the family support worker tomorrow for advice but have had it now with mediation at this level. He isn’t listening to either me or her and I desperately need this settled for my mental health. He has bullied me for years and this is another variation on that.
So what is the next step? How do I apply for a Miam? Would he have a separate one and apply also?
Thankyou!23 May 2018 at 11:28 am #11586
So its best that you apply for MIAM, that way you can decide on one near you, otherwise [if what you say is true] he could choose one deliberately far from you. Print off a C100 form and take [I think] page 13 or 14 with you. If you cant come to an agreement then you will ask the mediator to sign it. This then allows you to apply to court. You will want to apply for a lives with order.
If you feel he will get aggressive or its too much for you, ask for shuttle mediation, it means you’re in separate rooms and the mediator shuttles between you. This has a great advantage as it allows you time to consider and compose yourself while the mediator is with your ex.
Be prepared, like you would if you were going to court, have the calendars and schedule you’d like to see all set out, the reasons why it should be your way all written down and clear in your head and be prepared to be flexible. If you want my advice, you should allow anything up to 50% time with her father but the attitude is, it has to be practicable, appropriate and in daughters best interest. Otherwise you’ll just come off as a restrictive mother [especially if he is manipulative]
If you have a flexible schedule now [however demanding and controlling he is] is a court order really in your family’s best interest? it can be very unforgiving and in truth hand more control to your ex if he is rigid in his approach to it. There are no winners in court.
Last advice, think about the end game, do you really want to get on the stand under oath and be taken apart by his solicitor? I understand that 80% of cases are agreed in the minutes before court. Which negates the reason to waste a private educations worth of money on legal bills.
Good luck23 May 2018 at 8:48 pm #11601
Thankyou. If I’m honest, I’d rather boil my own head than go to court!
I’m desperate to avoid that ordeal (and throwing all that money that I don’t really have at it) but cant live long term with him constantly changing everything (three changes just this week) so we don’t know we whether we’re coming or going.
Thanks for your help.23 May 2018 at 9:47 pm #11603
It’s page 9, but a MIAM is only required if going to court. If you don’t want to do that then you need to keep on with mediation. I don’t think court is the best option in your situation.
Don’t sign or agree to anything until you’re happy.
These links might help:
Support with any parenting problem: Family Lives 9am-9pm weekdays, 10am-3pm weekends FREE helpline 0808 800 2222 http://familylives.org.uk
Advice re: arrangements for children, mediation, going to court http://www.advicenow.org.uk
Separation disputes: http://www.sortingoutseparation.org.uk
Arrangements for children: http://theparentconnection.org.uk/
Bear in mind, you might have to go to court if you can’t agree, but you should speak to the mediator and explain why it’s going round in circles and you’re losing patience. They are supposed to be impartial and get an agreement sorted.
The first number listed above is well worth a call first thing in the morning.
All the best.