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Has anyone had any experience with mediators to work out "day to day/business of life" - type issues? Dh and dsd's mom were divorced 10 years ago, dh and I were married 4.5 yrs ago, and dsd's mom re-married 2 years ago so things have pretty much settled down from what they were like in the past. Dsd is 12.

However, we're still struggling with scheduling issues. We've tried talking - the four of us together, me and mom, me and stepdad, dh and mom, emailing, phone, in person, etc. trying to come to an agreement on how we do the schedule, protocol for changing the schedule, how we communicate, how involved dsd is in the whole process, etc. We cannot seem to agree on what's right/fair/reasonable on a whole bunch of issues.

Soooooo, dh and I are thinking it's time to bring in a mediator. No one associated with any court or agency - just an individual who helps all sorts of people resolve conflict, make compromises, reach an agreement about some open issue(s).

Anyone else done this? How do you convince the other party that it's a good idea, necessary, will help, etc.?

I made some calls today to get an idea of time committment, fees, style of working with clients, etc. and have some info coming in the mail that we can share with dsd's mom and stepdad, but mom has already made it clear she doesn't think it's necessary.
 

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In California we have to go through mediation before you can go to court so we've done it a lot and found it totally useless. But, I dont' think it has to be. In our case, it goes like this. Dh says, I think the schedule should be X, the ex says, I think the schedule should be Y, and the mediators, say, well, you don't agree, so maybe you should go to court!
: I wanted the mediator to say, here is what some families do, or here is another possibility, etc. But these ladies here don't do that. A neutral party sounds like a good idea. Where would you find the mediator if it isn't connected to a court or agency? Here, the mediators are free and through the court, but it is confidential if no agreement is reached. Would the ex trust that it is neutral if you just find someone?
 
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