As for any meeting, you are in control of yourself. Don't forget that, if she ramps it up like you think she will, calmly say to the mediator that you need a break and you will not sit here and be abused verbally by her. Then get up and walk out to the hall. Check back in a few and if she hasn't changed her behavior, reschedule. Do not be bullied into staying. Don't worry about what the mediator will think, they have seen it all. If this adds to the cost , oh well, she has to have consequences. In the end its just money, and what's more important is the long run and you getting what you need to do right by your kids, and being able to look yourself in the mirror, knowing you did the best you could to not let yourself be run over by her crazy train.
Still cheering for you.
We are done fighting with each other and decide to fight FOR each other.
You can't "defer" disagreements to the mediator. They are only there to try to get you guys to reach an agreement, and they really don't care if it's fair or not, just if it's legal.
It's legal to waive your right to spousal support, and your STBX can try to bully you into that, and the mediator isn't going to bully back and fight for you. That's what a LAWYER would do for you..
My best advice is to stay calm and act like you are going to get what is fair or you're going to court. If one of you raises your voice or brings up marital issues not related to finances or custody, you want it to be her. Look like the reasonable one trying to get a deal.
Honestly, I think you are going to get screwed or get no agreements at all.. Perhaps she's in a guilty phase, but I think it's more manipulation than guilt, so I don't think striking while the guilt is hot is going to work in this case..
However, you can be sure I will not sign anything without consulting with my attorney.
I guess I will see how it goes. If it becomes clear that she is not being cooperative or compromising or doing what is best for the kids, I am prepared to walk out and head straight to my attorney's.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
When my friend got D her dad told her to get the MOST she could. My friend felt bad doing that. But her Dad told her, you are going to have huge expenses with your daughters. At the end of every year if you haven't used all the money you have been awarded that year, you can give it back to WH!!! She uses every bit of it.
just my opinion.
good luck in mediation,
try to stay in "thinking" brain, not "reacting" brain.
However, I am also in Canada which may be slightly different.
First off, I would NEVER see my clients separately. Ever. Does not work, under any circumstances. I see each of them briefly individually at the first appt. to gather some background info., asking them the same questions etc. But never after that. That can be construed as no longer being neutral which is a bad place for a mediator to be.
Not withstanding the above, another reason why I would never be a go between, between clients is that it would never end, but also that I require my clients to act like grownups....there are children's lives at stake here. So, they need to, at least, be able to act in a civilized manner in an office setting with a third person there.
As well, ADad.....the last issues that I would deal with in mediation are the financial ones. My first priority with all of my clients (except those clients whose children are above 18), is the parenting plan. All of the details that make up the parenting plan.....primary residence, major decisions, guardianship, special occasions, vacations, safety, minor parenting decisions etc. Then, and only then, would I tackle the child support/spousal/property division etc. Children first, finances last.
ADad, I totally agree with standingonmarble about the mediation meeting....never, ever agree to something that you are not prepared to follow through with. If you need time to consult with your lawyer (or whoever), by all means, please state that to the mediator. We do not take offense to that. We want you to be happy with your agreement. This is what I tell all of my clients....I am not going to follow you around in your life and make sure that you are following the agreement. So, don't agree to ABC if you know that you are going to walk out of this room and do XYZ. That's wasting everyone's time.
So, tomorrow, remember that, if you are not able to fully comply with a resolution, DON'T agree to it, at least not until you can know this about yourself.
And finally, ButterflyGirl, it is ABSOLUTELY not true that mediators don't care if it's fair or not, just legal. Very unwise. I have been in this business for many years, and would never continue if I didn't care about my clients. What I don't care about...is if it IS legal......I really don't. Over the years, I have seen so many variations of parenting plans, from the typical every other weekend, to 50/50, to the children staying in the family home and the parents rotating through. It's been crazy, at how creative some people can be.
And in fact, I did go to bat for one fellow just last week, when I felt the wife was being rather unreasonable....and yes, she was the BS. So was I many years ago, but still.
I hope that you didn't have a negative experience with mediation, but if you did, I'm sorry about that. I love what I do and there are so many times that I wish I could find out how it all ended for my clients or if they are doing well with their agreements.
ADAd, just go in, be yourself, don't get sucked into her stuff, be assertive, and DO NOT agree to anything unless you feel confident that you will be ready to deliver.
I wish you all the best. Nothing in mediation is written in stone, so relax.
Please update us so we can know how it goes.
Btw, I'm the BS and in full R for 6 yrs., but come to read here b/c it helps me to understand where my clients are at. It really helps me to see the "human" side. Thank you for sharing.
Fully reconciled. Life is really good!!
There's always failure. And there's always disappointment. And there's always loss.
But the secret is learning from the loss, and realizing that none of those holes are vacuums.
- Michael J. Fox
Thanks for setting me straight survivngslowly. That was what I was told by my first lawyer, who was fired for quite a few reasons after our first mediation, and it did seem to me that whether it was "legal" was all the mediator cared about. I obviously defer to the professional here..
This is the begining of ENDING the Chaos for your kids. When you feel yourself weakening remember that.
Enjoying this chapter in my life.
Learning that being alone does not mean being lonely.
Discovering that where I've been is not as important as where I'm going.
Separated, divorcing, moving on.
I edit because I always make typos.
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
Mediation went OK--much better than expected. The uncomprehending petulance appeared here and there, but reality shot it down.
I don't feel vindicated, relieved or anything. Just terribly sad that it came to this. It didn't have to.
I did everything I could and for so long to avoid this.
More details later. I am exhausted.
Thanks, everyone, as always.
guard your heart.