Mediation/court or solicitors to sort custody arrangments

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    Sarah B
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    Hello.

     

    I would really appreciate some advice please. Isn’t being separated with children so draining. 🙁

    I was due to attend mediation later in January with my ex but I have advised him I do not feel I can attend now. I find him very difficult and confrontational and he was not able to have our children unsupervised for 7 months in 2016. We had social services involved (in 2016 when we separated) due to his history of drug use, mental health, suicide attempts and domestic abuse towards me and his risk regarding the two children. He has now been clean since 2016. He currently has the children two evenings after work at the family home and on Saturdays at the house or out somewhere. I have felt more and more attacked by him since November and I feel pushed into attending mediation. Our communication is absolutely terrible at the moment and he has no where to take the children as he lives in a tiny room in a house share. He wants to ask at mediation to have the children two nights a week (once he has got himself a decent job and a new place to live) and I have said I am not prepared to discuss this with him as it has taken so much work to get the children settled after his breakdown and departure in 2016. I am terrified he will not cope with the children two nights a week as he cannot cope with pressure (he has had four mental health breakdowns since 200) and has only his job to cope with currently. We had a very negative experience with our couples counselor in 2015 and I am very nervous the mediator will not be strong enough to stand up to him and he will get his way. I feel in a court or preferably just via solicitors the full history of our case will be understood so a decision will be made on the basis of this rather than on face value in mediation.

    Anyway, my question here is has anyone settle just by solicitors without needing to attend court. I have told him I would allow him to have the children one night a week once he is set up and we would review this if it went well so we could then look at 2 nights a week. Thank you for reading my essay. I think the main problem is he feels entirely controlled by me but this is the way it has had to be since social services withdrew. There is no help afterwards except court orders.

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