October 12, 2013 7:21 AM Subscribe
MINML (metafilter is not my lawyer, but oh man, that would be one kick ass lawyer)
Have you even been thru mediation with an ex-spouse over parenting plan stuff? If so, I have some basic quesitons...brief background below...
posted by ian1977 to law & government (14 answers total)
My ex and I have been apart for 5 years. We have been coparenting 5050 during that five years. We've never gotten along like gangbusters, and we have certainly both had our share of email/text flame-outs...but we've also managed to keep things pretty downright friendly about 70% of the time. Friendly to the point where I will go to her and her husbands house to have dinner prior to picking our daughter up.
Recently I announced that I my daughter and I will be moving households into my girlfriends house. Happy days. Except not. Briefly after this I get a letter from my ex's brand new lawyer requestion mediation. I immediately question my ex about this and she is silent, until eventually she says 'you need to get a lawyer and go to mediation'. I then question her lawyer, asking what the mediation is for specifically and she more or less tells me. There are 5 mediation points, most of it is pretty vague stuff (ie communicate better) but one actual concrete thing is that she wants to establish Right of First Refusal. Im on the fence about right of first refusal cuz of the logistical headaches and really, we alternate solid weeks with our daughter so its not like anyone is lacking time with her, but at the same time man, I'd waaaay rather give in to right of first refusal before a custody battle. ugh
Two things are bothering the heck out of me.
1. I've questioned my ex about what her actual intentions are. ie, is this just a stepping stone to start a custody battle? She will not answer. I don't know if she takes glee in it, or if her lawyer told her to just not talk to me about it, but if it truly is mediation where we learn to communicate better and blablabla...what kind of lawyerly strategery is it to make the other party go thru hell on earth and have almost no choice but to simultaneously escalate because there is no reassurance of good intention? It seems needlessly aggressive to me and I'm terrified. (Over the past couple days I've talked with my ex about other stuff, halloween costumes and stuff like that)
So the question for #1: Is this a common mediation strategy even when the end game IS actual mediation over the finer points of a parenting plan? Because it sure seems like a scorched earth plan. Have you been through something similar?
2. After emailing back and forth with the lawyer I agreed to go to mediation but said that I would need some time to get some funds so I said early November. Is that a ridiculous time to ask her to wait? Is that grounds for considering me to be uncooperative?
I know I need a lawyer, and actually that makes me really really sad. My ex has been with her husband almost the entire past five years. I was really excited to move in with my girlfriend and be able to offer my daughter the same happy 2 adult household that my ex has been able to offer her. I also naively thought that this would be a positive turning point for my ex and I. Instead it is a living hell on earth. At any rate, I can't talk to a lawyer until Monday, so if anyone could chime in with their experiences and answer my questions I'd be eternally grateful.