My husband wanted to divorce but he had no desire to do any of the legwork to get it done. I was the personal assistant, per se. So, I took it upon myself to find a lawyer, and we drew up paperwork after some major research and I took the paperwork to my husband who read the pages for 5 days. He went to a notary and signed the papers and gave them back. I gave the paperwork to m lawyer, he filed it and we were divorced after 90 days.
In the paperwork with the divorce, it stated if anything was disputed, we would go to mediation before going to court. Mediation is defined as the intervention between conflicting parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or compromise.
You should never us divorce mediation to punish an ex!
Well, the first mediation was about a year after the divorce. My ex-husband was now angry. He hired an attorney and said he was afraid I was going to hurt our kids and myself. I looked at him and said, “Are you kidding me?”
My lawyer looked concerned. I told him the accusations were ridiculous and we ended up in 2 separate rooms to mediate the issue. The only reason my ex had made the accusations was to see what kind of reaction they would get out of me. What he actually wanted was more time with the kids.
Initially, he had agreed to 1 weekend a month, as he had requested. He had married the “other woman,” and now wanted to change the original agreement. I agreed to 2 weekends a month and though the issue had been resolved.
Apparently, we had not.
When one spouse chooses not to discuss anything with the other spouse, feelings get hurt and one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing. Soon, I received another letter from his attorney saying my ex wanted another mediation. It did not say why or what for.
I had to hire another attorney and this time my ex wanted full custody and tried to claim that I was a bad mother. He had a list of reasons and none were true. My new lawyer was very interested in my composure after reading the list of lies. My new lawyer wanted to also compile a list of ways that he was a bad father. I refused. I thought no good could come from me lying about what kind of parent he is.
I knew I could come up with a list but didn’t want to waste my energy. I mean – he tried to say that I was a bad mother since my 8-year-old son sometimes sleeps in bed with me. He tried to say that I was a bad mother because I took a phone away from my teenager. I really wanted to tell him that this was parenting. I was actually more hurt that he compiled a list of things over time and plotted to hurt me via mediation instead of speaking to me about what he felt were issues in the way I parented our kids.
Needless to say, we met again in mediation and even though my lawyer was a lot of talk – we just ended up giving my ex a little more time with the kids. My child support did not change and he paid for the mediation. He did not get full custody. After the second mediation, I suggested family therapy. He agreed and we met with a family therapist who told him I was a good mother. I knew he knew that I was a good mother and his actions were nothing more than an attempt to hurt me. He knew that I would be bothered and upset if he claimed I was a bad mom. That’s what controlling ex husbands do.
Mediation can be a positive thing if it isn’t used as a tool to punish someone. It is difficult to be attacked again and again via mediation. However, mediation does soften the blow – even if you sit there with knots in your stomach. The hard part is usually over quickly. And, if you’re dealing with a controlling ex, I guess unreasonable requests for mediation is something you should expet.