My ex and I currently both live in Birmingham. We were married for ten years, but separated more than once, and have been living apart for about five of those. My ex filed for divorce at the end of last year. We began mediation, filled in E1 forms and started discussing finances, but mediation sessions tended to devolve into counselling sessions for my ex who banged on about what a great guy he is etc. Anyway, he had expressed in the "conduct" section of the E1 form that he wasn''t happy with me working part-time and he didn''t see the need for me to do that now that our son is 7. I applied for and got a full-time job, but it was in the next county. I took a while to make my mind up, but eventually decided to move - it would mean a better, healthier life for my son and would facilitate financial independence from my ex. You would think all would be great. Thing is, my ex is livid. He can only see it as "me taking his son away." He''s trying to work out an impossible child arrangements order where I pay for his petrol, or do the driving and where, as well as our son spending every other long weekend, and half of holidays with him, which is the current arrangement, he wants him to spend half of the half-terms with him too - even though he''s working(!) and two random days per month. The other issue is that my ex is thinking of moving even further away from the place I am moving to, to be closer to his work - which would make his journey to see our son even longer - over two hours. As to finances, my ex currently pays a rather pitiful monthly amount through the CSA. He is not willing to pay any more, whether directly to me or by buying clothes etc. He''s not only immoveable on these issues, but is rude, insulting and at times aggressive in mediation meetings. I feel that mediation has effectively broken down and I should apply to the court for a child arrangements order and a financial order. What would people advise? Anyone in a similar situation?
If your working full time then your stbx having half the half term could be more convenient for you as you would possible need child care. A court would probably agree that every other weekend and half of all school holiday is reasonable.
If he is paying through the csa then he is paying the legally enforceable amount of cm based on his income. Any other payments would be voluntary. Spousal maintenance is based on need. You would have to prove you have a need and he has the abilty to pay.
Thanks for your reply. Yes - I take your point about half-terms, but I still don''t like the idea of my son going to stay with some random carer while my stbx works, when he could simply stay with me. I''m a teacher, so have half-terms off. Do you know how this would play out in court? Also, would you say that my only option now is to consider that mediation has broken down, or should I give it another go? The sessions are generally over two hours, they are gruelling and insulting to me, and I don''t feel that anything is being achieved. Is there a process for complaining about how mediation sessions are handled by the mediator?
Sorry - too many questions!