9th June 2021 at 9:01 pm #126938bird21Participant
I am slowly starting to take control of my life, understanding what I should expect to get out of a divorce so that I can look after my children and myself. We need to sort out our finances and I am really worried that he is not going to listen to me even though I have sort legal advice. Has anyone used a mediator? How did you choose one? Did it help?
I am so sick of the constant anxiety that I feel every time that he comes to pick up the children, the judging and negative comments about me and the house to the kids. Any advice would be gratefully received.
Thank you xx
9th June 2021 at 11:46 pm #126947MuddybootsParticipant
I haven’t done it yet, but a solicitor told me that mediation is when you’re in the same room together with a mediator and your ex, and the solicitor told me that was a bad idea, because it’s super stressful and if you’re afraid or have been manipulated in the past they can do that during the mediation. She thought something called shuttle mediation (where you sit in a different room to your ex and the mediator goes back and forth between you) might be more suitable and less stressful. It relies on your partner having some level of interest in getting things resolved, and you being clear about what you do and don’t want, because it’s a negotiation. You can’t force your partner to do anything through mediation, so I guess that means if he’s a d**k about it, and you just want to get it sorted, you might end up with less than you could win in court. But taking it to court could cost more than that’s worth…
If you think there’s a chance he’ll force it to go to court, I would recommend keeping a diary of all the little (or big) nasty things he’s doing at the moment and how it makes you feel, so you’ve got a recent record of how he is continuing to abuse you, which can be used as evidence against him.
Good luck, keep us posted, especially what you learn about what does and doesn’t work and when things go well!
10th June 2021 at 5:29 am #126949KIP.Participant
Use a third party for all contact including hand overs and cut him out your life. He’s not going to agree to anything you want and if he does he will simply change his mind to mess you around. Zero direct contact. mediation is not recommended by women’s aid at all. Talk to your solicitor about what the law says you’re entitled to in a divorce then put that to him via a solicitor. Don’t waste money on back and forth pointless letters. If he’s not prepared to agree to what the law says then the court should side with you and you can ask for him to pay your costs. Keep a detailed journal of his abuse. Log it with your GP.
10th June 2021 at 11:03 am #126956ISOPeaceParticipant
Firstly, well done you for starting to take control. I know it’s hard but it will be worth it.
Your post has got me thinking about mediation and divorce, which might be helpful to think about for your situation. I haven’t started divorce proceedings yet. TBH I’m putting it off because I want to minimise even indirect interaction with him. TBH, putting aside the abuse for a minute, I’m not sure any type of mediation is worth trying if he’s not willing to follow legal advice. I guess it depends whether the mediator has legal training (I know some do but don’t know if all do) and can explain to him that his demands are pointless. Maybe a solicitor could advise on what they think based on previous experience.
However, I do think the abuse aspect is very important to consider. Before I left, I thought I could manage mediation with my ex because it couldn’t be any worse than the abuse while I was with him and I doubt he’d behave that badly in front of a mediator. Since leaving, I see it quite differently. Yes I think I could “manage” it, but there would be a cost to my mental/emotional wellbeing. One of the reasons people advise no contact is that any contact, good or bad, can strengthen the trauma bond that you’ve fought so hard in order to leave. I feel like any contact with him is a potential head f**k (sorry, I know that’s a horrible term but I can’t think of a better one to describe what abusers do to us) even if it’s not obvious at the time.
In terms of the actual mediation, I would worry that even if I didn’t feel directly intimidated, I find his presence so draining that I might agree to things to get the meeting over with, then later regret it. I feel like he saps my strength and energy. I don’t think as clearly around him and I know I find it hard to maintain my boundaries. From your post I wonder whether you would feel the same. Perhaps shuttle mediation would be ok. I think the best guide is how you feel in any similar situations e.g. replying to messages. xxxx
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