I have received the date for the Decree Nisi of 5th Feb 08.
But I am being told by others in the office that this means that I have agreed the future arrangements for the children, where they live, who with, contact arrangements for me etc.. - Which I definitely have not.
I know my X2B has made suggestions in her paperwork about the arrangements for the children but no discussions taken place or agreements reached.
When your wife filed the petition for divorce she would also have had to disclose to the court that there were dependent children and file a form known as a "Statement of Arrangements for Children". The form asks for details such as names, ages, schools, health & special needs, who they will be living with, contact arrangements and maintenance.
My ex and I agreed on the contents of this form and both of us signed it so that I could submit it with my divorce petition.
If exact arrangement haven't been agreed upon it isn't necessary to be too precise at this stage and a general idea of what arrangements are likley to be put in place will suffice.
When you received a copy of the divorce petition you should also have received a copy of this Statement of Arrangements and had the opportunity to sign your agreement or comment otherwise. If you took no further action the court would have assumed that the arrangements set down by your wife were acceptable and would not intervene.
However, please don't worry, the document is not binding and can be viewed upon as merely a statement of intention. Application can be made to the court at any time where you cannot agree on the future arrangements for your children.
If you have specific objections to the Statement of Arrangements filed by your wife then you can complete a form and ask the court to look at this specific matter. I think a fee is payable for doing this.
As far as mediation goes she has refused to date, but is now prepared to have the initial individual session with the mediator, so maybe there is hope here - if not it will be the courts (and the costs).
However, my concern was with the arrangements for the children - so it looks like I am OK and the childrens / financial arrangements are still up in the air pending mediation or courts.
Good, feel better now. Thought I had missed a trick here;)