We are going to mediation but the mediator is not impartial and is on my husband's 'side'.
The mediator regular negotiates the financial settlement in his favour.
it has been a somewhat abusive relationship and whilst my husband is at least co-operative in mediation and has agreed grounds for unreasonable behaviour, I find it traumatic. This is a man who could paper the walls of the house with faults and complaints about me.
I have gone for counseling with women's aid and they think I should ditch mediation , engage a solicitor to put my preferred financial option to his solicitor and get on with the divorce that way.
I'd appreciate your opinons as i am not sure.
I will post the Petition as that's agreed and ready.
I could delay mediation anyway as i need to sort out a mortgage offer and the best way to share our pensions.
i can see how a solicitor might be best if he will just put my offer to husband's solicitor but am a bit worried husband might become uncooperative as at least in mediation he is able to look a bit pathetic and get what seems like sympathy.
Hmmmmmmmm, as has been said by Vix - Mediators should be impartial. Solicitors can be very costly if used solely, however you can use one ad-hoc to assist you with making a decision about the financial discussions in mediation.
So you can seek advice from them, but they do not 'represent' you.
Have a chat with a solicitor - some do free consultations or a fixed fee session. Take with you all your information and explain to the solicitor you wish for their advice whilst you attempt to agree via mediation, but need to know their opinion on the discussions so far.
Once you have your sols advice it will enable you to either:
- Using the solicitors advice bring issues up during mediation to negotiate a fairer deal.
- explain to your stbx you don't feel your getting a fair deal, so will be stopping mediation (if your stbx will become uncooperative this could end up in court and be very expensive, any gains you may then receive may out-weigh the legal costs involved in getting them)
- Your sol may actually state that the deal is a fair one - the process of mediation is that 2 people concede and compromise.
However you won't know your options unless you ask a professional.
The other alternative is to speak alone with the mediator themselves, explaining how you feel. They may be able to reassure you of their impartiality, I'm not sure how likely it would be for you to get another mediator to step in at this stage ..........
If there is any chance to sort things out via mediation - I'd take it if I were you, once things get litigious - it can get more traumatic emotionally and very costly.
Thank you for your help which is much appreciated, your advice makes sense.
I will make an appt with the solicitor I have used on an ad hoc basis; he is good and I went prior to mediation and then twice for advice. I felt, and friends suggested, I was possibly being foolish doing mediation and also taking solicitor's advice but it makes sense in the current circumstances and worth the extra cost.
I also like the advice on talking to the mediator prior to appt and whilst there seems no opportunity, i could email in advance and try to arrange a couple of minutes with one. there are two mediators but one seems so much on my husbands side and she argues for more from me.
You are right, it would help if i went to my solicitor and he confirmed that i was being reasonable as the last mediation meeting was the first time that i was demanding rather than just agreeing to the one mediator's suggestions.
I would also re-iterate what has been said with regard to legal costs. Have a good look at the difference between what you want and what is on the table in mediation. It is surprising how quickly legal fees start hitting ,000's once the court process is underway. If it goes all the way to a final hearing you are probably looking at a min of £20k depending on sol! On top of that you also have the emotional cost of going to court. My ex failed to negotiate every set of the way and I ended up self repping to avoid costs but his legal fees were probably not far of £50k which took a big chunk out of his final settlement!
The other alternative is to post more details on here and the wiki peeps will give you an idea of what sort of outcome you should be looking for and whether it is worth fighting for!
Are you quite sure the mediator is biased or could it be you just don`t like what he/she is saying, mediators unlike solicitors work for you both, they have no reason to take sides, a solicitor will work for his/her client and aim to get the best settlement possible.
Can you see the problem? solicitors will rightly jealously protect the interests of their clients, its one against the other in crude terms, which as others has said can lead to high costs, can you both afford to spend 40k of marital assets if this goes all the way through court?.
Think long and hard about your next move, by all means post some details on wiki and members will try and help you with a solution, but do be aware of the costs once this involves solicitors/barristers.