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1st Mediation session attended few questions

  • ffc1991
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13 Jul 12 #342912 by ffc1991
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Attended the 1st mediation session with my EX partner yesterday. Didn''t go badly but wasn''t great either. She''s still refusing for me to have my daughter unsupervised and overnight. Illl be having a 1 hour contact session with my daughter this Saturday in a contact centre which is completely unnecessary but of course I''m willing to do this if it means some contact.

My ex partner also said shed try to sort something where someone else can supervise me outside the contact centre for a couple hours to boost up my hours. I doubt she''ll do this and was just saying this to avoid confrontation. She''s still using the excuse of me not being able to look after my daughter on my own. She did agree in the long term that I wanted I could have like alternate weekends altnate birthdays etc. But in the short term she''s pretty much offering me little next to nothing. She even said I could have my daughter if my twin was with me. My twin brother has no children or any experience at all with children so that makes no sense either. She did let it slip that she thought I''d take my daughter out of the area without her permission etc. I live 200 miles away currently and have no family in the area of where my daughter lives to help with the supervision.

Couple of questions really.

As there is absolutely no reason at all why I should be supervised and my ex partners only argument is that I might not be able to feed her properly or change her. Is this argument even valid? Of course I can do these things and even the mediator was trying to make my ex partner see that what she was saying was wrong at times.

What do I say in court on the 14th Aug regarding this issue? She hasn''t raised any allegations of abuse, drugs etc, so I can''t see why the court will be leaning towards the supervised route?

unfortunately the next mediation session isn''t till 4 days before court and after this session all my ex partner was offering was ifs and buts and that she''ll try to get someone to supervise. I raised the concern that nothing is then guaranteed and relies on other people to help me with contact with my daughter. As my EX partner is refusing to do the supervision herself as she finds it to upsetting :/.

  • Bobbinalong
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13 Jul 12 #342916 by Bobbinalong
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sounds like she is treading the thin line but can''t come up with any solid allegations.
When and if you approach this subject in court or mediation, you should never ever discuss your ability to be able to have unsupervised contact with your daughter, if there is no valid reason why.
You are her father and she is the mother, you each should have contact as much as possible, end of, there is no question of ability only in her eyes so it is irrelevant, try to keep things simple, i.e. when she tries to deny or restrict contact ask her what are her reasons, if she says your not capable, ask her on what basis and what examples, if she can''t give any and no reason why you can''t be the good dad, then dismiss it.
Sounds on the surface like she is just trying to avoid you being in her and daughters life too much cos you''ll just be in the way of what she wants to do, pretty much like the rest of us...

  • ffc1991
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13 Jul 12 #342917 by ffc1991
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Thanks Bobbin that''s pretty much how I see it tbh. I don''t think she''s being spiteful but she just has a weird way of seeing things and thinks what she''s doing is right and it''s very hard to make her see any different.

In mediation I did dismiss all of her claims and tried to make her see she was being stupid but like I say she just won''t listen to me or the mediator. Hence why I feel court is the only route where sheel hopefully get told that she can''t force the supervised route.

Just not sure how to play it next month that''s all and what to expect from the first hearing.

Thanks for your reply

  • jslgb
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13 Jul 12 #342918 by jslgb
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Her reasons for offering supervised contact are rather unreasonable. Of course you wont forget to feed or change her, if anything you will probably be over cautious where these areas are concerned and change her too often! What does she expect? I was a new mum at 21 but it didnt affect my ability to care for my child.

If she pushes for supervised contact and the court believe she has reasons too then i imagine you''ll go down the CAFCASS route.

One thing to point out would be the use of another person supervising. My stbxh had his ex wife supervise contact for a few months for reasons i have mentioned in your posts previously. Although stbxh didnt agree with this it made sense for her to be the one supervising as she was the ones with the concerns. It wouldnt make sense for your twin brother to supervise contact as like you said he hasnt got experience of children, and is a member of your family rather than her own so not likely to agree with her concerns or necessarily feedback to her. To me this would signal that her concerns arent really valid.

Also, perhaps suggest that you and you ex agree to keep a diary of contact. This was suggested to my stbx through mediation. Your ex could write down a few examples of a typical day with your daughter regarding meals, changing, activities etc. Then on a contact day she could write down what your child has eaten in the morning and if changed etc and you can continue it during the time you spend with your child. This way you will have a written record to show how your child spent their day and you could suggest this in court as an option to alleviate your ex partners concerns.

Hope that helps :-)

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13 Jul 12 #342920 by ffc1991
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Well I was present for the first 6 months of my daughters life and done all these things before obviously. The mediator even said that even if I haven''t parents have to start somewhere.

She''s just being very insistent on me not having my daughter alone and I feel this is because she thinks I will take her away. Which I wouldn''t that would be stupid. I raised your point about my twin brother and as per usual she completely ignored my point.

She was saying that she would ask her mother or father auntie etc to supervise me. Her mother and father have a severe dislike towards me as does her auntie I believe so I feel it''s incredibly inappropriate if they do the supervision would you agree? God knows what they would feedback to my EX as I believe they''re part of the problem with my EXs behaviour ATM.

At the start of mediation the mediator did get my partner to write down a daily routine of my daughters day. Think this was to show me what I would have to do and to show my EX that I would be capable of doing this but once again she ignored the points and got nowhere with it.

The only positive part of the mediation IMO was that she didn''t kick up a fuss over my proposals in the long term. Like alternate weeken 1 day in week half of holidays etc. But am I right in thinking that in court I can''t refer to what was said in mediation?

Also the diary idea is a vg idea shall look at doing that

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13 Jul 12 #342922 by ffc1991
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At the first hearing what exactly happens? Do I get chance to discredit my ex partners claims to try make the judge do an interim order of unsupervised contact? Or will he just order a carcass report and wait till then ? I have written letters from several friends and family hos kids I have looked after saying that I''m capable but will these even matter?

Just really don''t know what to expect from this first hearing and if anything will get sorted at the first hearing. As I''ve heard it lasts like 10 minutes sometimes :/.

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13 Jul 12 #342924 by jslgb
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I have no idea if you can refer to what is said in mediation in court, although it wouldnt make much sense if you couldnt!!

Again, the suggestions made around supervised contact are ridiculous. There isnt anyone who can be wholly impartial and obviously family takes sides in break ups. Its isnt fair for her to suggest you are supervised by someone who has a low opinion of you as you stated her family do. If it comes up in court just reiterate that you dont think its appropriate for anyone to supervise you other than your ex as she is the one with the concerns. If it goes down this route and you agree to supervised, i would also suggest trying to agree on a degree of supervision, for example if you the person supervising is directly included in the contact it will affect the time you have with your daughter etc. Whole point of supervised contact for my stbxh was to get to know his daughter after her mother had disappeared with her, this was difficult to do when the mother wouldnt back off and let them have contact!

Also, your ex has acknowledge that contact will increase in the future. If her concerns were valid how does she propose this progression? If you are limited to an hour in a contact centre, again, how does she propose progression?

One option os to agree to supervised contact with a family member (who you agree to if she refuses to do it herself) over a period of xxxx to address exes concerns and allow her to feel at ease with contact but stress it would be for a certain time period at which point you would like contact to progress to unsupervised contact on whichever schedule.

Sometimes you have to give a little to get a little ;-)

PS, i cant really advise you on the first hearing as my stbxh''s situation was different to yours, and he hasnt bothered to fight for our daughter!

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