We finally going to mediation next week for our first joint meet,how best can i prepare for this,what i dont want to do is waste the first session by being told they need information,when i could prepare and take it on the first visit,also what am i in for?..my wife is divorcing me on UB,but have since learnt that she had been having an affair and was just using my behaviour towards her as a good cover story for all her friends and family.so i left the MH early October 08,to move in with my parents.still paying mortgage,still paying a personel loan taken out in my name to buy the family car,which see is still using,also paying maintenance via CSA.the house is in my sole name,but she has taken out family rights on it.we also have credit cards debts as a couple but accs are in my name.with her agreeing to mediation is this a good sign least she may want to sort something out.so how can mediation help us?
H 41....W 40 married 2 1/2 years,lived together as a couple since mid 1998,3 kids under 10....
Hi Disco, firstly there are a stack of finances to sort and i havent got answers for you I am afraid, they need to be sorted asap. However you have quite good income between you, also your outgoings for living are minimal, which is good and bad, generally if your living expenses are for a rented house this would have to be taken into account, but you two have some debts that need clearing.
Dont worry too much about your first mediation, you may decide to deal with children issues first even though you may have sorted it mostly between you already.
Me and ex sort of had but with discussing hols etc you wouldnt belive how quick an hour and half goes.
I went fully prepared, finasnces everything, but when it came too, all i needed to have taken is a piece of paper with kids hols dates on, nothing more. I also got worked up and nervous abou tit, ut no need.
Also dont get arguing, the mediator will not let you stray from the agenda. If she wants to rant and talk over you, let her, the mediator will take notes. Just be calm and reasonable and you will do well.
You might as well draw up a list of all your family assets (house, bank/savings accounts and so on) and liabilities (credit card balances, tax owing, loans etc.); if you don't need it for the first meeting, it doesn't matter and it will be ready when you do need it.
With regard to who is divorcing whom, what the reason is, and who has been behaving badly, the Courts are not interested in apportioning blame and it won't affect the settlement. So don't bother to bring up the subject of what your wife has or has not been getting up to. It will just raise the temperature and not help you both work towards an agreed separation of assets.
How can mediation help you? It will keep your costs down. It's less agressive. It's quicker. It enables you to have more of a say in the outcome than if you just let your lawyers write aggressive letters to each other or leave the court to impose a settlement. If you want to know more about mediation, there is along article on the subject in the library section of this site.
I've found mediation very useful. My first meeting was very much about setting out the ground rules and agreeing priority for the different topics through the meetings. For us, the first topic was contact, second finances, finally grounds for divorce. Our mediator has been excellent at keeping the meetings on track. If you make good progress through the first meeting, you may leave withe the financial disclosure forms to prepare for the second meeting.
To prepare for the first meeting I would focus on what do you want from mediation, possibly;-
Arangements for contact (Fix this early & get it formalised)
Agreement on finances (After agreement, the solicitors will have to draw up the formalities)
Agreement on grounds for divorce.
Good luck, go with an open mind, and hopefully the mediator will keep discussions more productive than they possibly have been in your direct contact with your stbx.
Like Kalamari I had a very positive experience of mediation. It is a good sign that your wife is agreeing to it - but its about common sense rather than anything else - if this works it will keep both of your costs down.
Usually they write to you telling you what you need for the first appt - as I recall it was ID and some income info ie P60; wage slips etc. The first session is very much about the mediator testing the water with you both and letting you know how the process works.
What I would say is - regardless of how emotions are running - do not direct your questions/statements/positions - to your wife do it to the mediator - give them the Chair role thats what you are paying for and even if what you are saying is not to the other parties taste when you are actually saying it to a third party it removes the sense of being directly attacked - a good mediator will extract from what you are saying what is the relevant points and advise you if the mediation appointments can find a way to deal with those issues. But divorce weather through mediators or all sols/courts is about dealing with the practicalities.
I would wholeheartedly encourage you to use it if you can as it will make things quicker, possibly cheaper and less stressfully hopefully.