I have my first mediation appointment coming up in about a week. So far stbx and I have not been able to resolve anything on the back and forth w/ our lawyers. Basically he continues to do whatever he wants and is living w/ his girlfriend and insists on access to the house. There are *tons* of other issues, but I will hold off on rehashing them here.
Anyhow - I have no idea what to expect from mediation or even how to prepare. My lawyers send some sort of brief to the mediator. Beyond that idk. I said I'd rather let the mediator go back and forth between room because I am so angry w/ stbx right now that I think I will start yelling when he starts yelling and claiming to be the victim. (He has messed up so many things, said such inappropriate things to the children, lied lied lied on his financial statement, etc. etc. etc.)
Advice would be most welcome - I can't even find much online.
Is your a court ordered mediation or private one? In mine we sat in a room with the mediator and he brought up different topics, told us what the law said, what some common practices are, etc. My area only requires an attempt at mediation for the parenting agreement.
I would suggest knowing your rights and making the proposal for a legally fair split. Drafting something up and presenting it to XH saved us a lot of time disagreeing over silly things.
If there are power imbalances and anger issues (as it sounds like there is here) mediation may be difficult. I think it is both a safe and strategic move to be in a different room than your ex.
Not sure what state you are in, but this might be helpful: http://www.utahbar.org/cle/springconvention/materials/succeed_mediation.pdf and this http://www.familylawtex.com/prepare_for_mediation.htm .... some of the local practices differ among states.
Mom to two terrific kiddos, affirming every day that the Universe is unfolding as it should and all is well...
I was in a different room to sbx, and the mediation attorney went between the two. he was to remain unbiased as he knew neither of us, but it only took him a short time to realise sbx was an %$#$ and only a little time longer for him to start coming in to our room and start with "I am sorry......" Before going into mediation I did have an outline of what I really wanted to achieve through mediation, visitation scedule, division of assets and holiday scedule. The only thing we achieved after three sessions (4 hours each) was visitation scedule, and he later told the judge he felt bullied into agreeing to that. Take a snack or two with you, there will be drinks. Oh, and take a book or something, as there may be long periods of time where you have nothing to do.
We were in the same room for some of it but the mediator separated us after a while because X was becoming increasingly hostile. Agree with the PP who said bring a book! I ended up in a conference room with NOTHING to do. Anyway my advice is get your ducks in a row and be prepared with a list of what you want, and why you think it's fair. Think ahead of time about what you'll compromise on, and what you're prepared to give up in return for something else. If you have a good mediator I think you can be pretty productive. Ours was very difficult and painful but in the end we did get quite a number of issues settled.
My province requires mediation be attempted before going before a judge. XH and I were in the same room (as well as the same waiting room). I was so afraid of him that I asked my father's friend to come with me; he was a huge mountain of a man in his early 60s. As soon as we were alone, XH leered at me, suggesting that I had brought my new boyfriend. Yeah, good one. It was however a good idea to bring someone with me so that when the session was over, I wouldn't have to leave and worry about XH following me or threatening me.
As I said, we sat together around a round table located in the mediator's office. He went over the laws applicable in the province, and then proceeded to ask us what we wanted. That's when XH demanded joint custody or he would walk out. The mediator tried to placate him, but it didn't work well. Everytime I tried to talk, XH would cut me off. Eventually, the mediator took control of the situation so that I could speak, but he wasn't very sympathetic to either of us. He seemed to think that my concerns over DD's safety weren't valid. I assume he just wanted to go home (it was 7 p.m.).
The second session went pretty much the same way but was cut short when XH reiterated his "conditions" and then refused to budge. The mediator asked us both to go home and "think about it".
Before the third session, XH threatened not to come because he wasn't getting what he wanted. I went to the mediator's office anyway, played the game of waiting for XH, and then the mediator told me to go home. He drafted up a report stating that the mediation had failed.
Then I went to court.