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At wits end - mediation broke down

  • serenityeast
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04 Mar 09 #95323 by serenityeast
Topic started by serenityeast
Summary; divorced for 3 years, had 18m custody battle post divorce, Consent Order agreed about a year ago, end of last year ex-h wrote lawyer asking for more holiday time (more than half of the school holidays and crazy schedules - to suit his needs regardless of anyone else). Said no because of anxiety, real unhappiness, and some ghastly events with child age 6. Ex-h initially refused mediation without a pre-requisite agreement from me that I would give him what he wanted ('give' is an interesting choice of his words). I said no on those terms.

In end he said yes to mediation and we had 1st session 2 weeks ago which was ended by the mediator when he thumped the table with both fists and screamed at me that if he didn't get what he wanted he'd take me to court.

This week wasn't much better. I've gone in explaining that I value his desire for a relationship with the child, that I feel its right that they have a fulfilling relationship and that it principal I have no issue with what he is requesting but that there are some significant behavioural, physical, emotional and general observations I have made of the child that mean that for now contact needs to remain as it is (every other weekend and something like 30 days a year holiday), but that I would like him to work with me to see how we can make this the best it can be for the child, that I have no idea where contact is going to take us but lets just let it settle, run with it, take the pressure off the child and see where it takes us.

And because he didn't get what he wanted he's now written to my lawyer to say he will be taking me to court....more over he wrote saying that he 'would give me one last chance to change my mind' or else. And that from mediation it was 'clear' I do not want him to have any contact....still struggling to see how all the things I said above have translated into that but it seems he's not 'hearing' rather than not listening.

I'm at my wits end....I feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall. My child is telling anyone who'll listen what she feels, writing it all down at school (my ex-h says the headteacher is in cahoots with me and he doesn't believe anything he says and that he will make sure he is discredited in court), even going as far as telling him himself....what else can I do - he took me to court for 18m and crippled me financially (and hard on me emotionally/physically too), what the hell do I do now?

If feels like he thinks he can still control this; he's said before now "do as I say and all will be well, otherwise I will make your life hell" but he just denies all those sorts of things to cafcass and the like (and child says he threatened last time they saw cafcass togather - plus he's threatened more recently too so I know childs not making this stuff up - trust me some of what child tells me there is no way even with the most vivid imagination child could make this up)

  • perrypower
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04 Mar 09 #95353 by perrypower
Reply from perrypower
It sounds really dreadful for all of you.

It sounds like out of 365 days per year he currently gets about 22%. That is 1/7th of the term time and about 1/3rd of holiday time. I have a 50/50 residency arrangement. I would not be happy with any less and if it got down to it I would go to court.

If I read it right he is prepared to accept the e.o.w.e. (1/7th) but wants more like 45 days rather than 30 days of holidays. If he can cope and provide childcare for that many days I don't see the problem, or rather I don't think making such an issue is in anybody's interest.

The scheduling is where the debate should be, not the number of days.

As too what you said, well he is never going to hear what you believe you are saying.

what you said:
You value his desire to have a relationship and that they should have a fulfilling relationship...

what he heard:
Well its nice that you want to see your daughter more and I have given you my permission to see her as much as you do and I could give you more access but I am not going to. Maybe I'll change my mind in the future if you do what I want but I am not prepared to make any promises.

So he is going to let the courts decide because the two of you can't work it out. Can I ask what it took 18 months to decide in the first place? Where did you both start from as we know where you ended up?

It is a very bad reflection on both of you if the child is telling everyone her points of view. It shows that both of you have confided in the child and she is now conflicted. Sadly, this means that what she says she wants might be given very little weight.

I do hope the two of you can work it out. Go back to mediation and try again and again. You have the child for 283 days per year, will 15 less really make a difference?

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