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Author Topic: Separated - Going to Mediation/Co-Parenting Centre  (Read 318 times)
WalkingonEggshel
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« on: May 30, 2022, 05:18:34 PM »

Hello all,

I been on for a bit and gone through the stages starting with trying to better the relationship to separation/learning to detach.  Currently she is making it extremely difficult to detach and always finds way to work her way back into my life.  Currently she is running out of straws and now using our two kids.   We are heading to mediation to see if we can solve this out of the court.  Essentially she wants what she wants and I do not agree I am the bad guy ect.  It is at the point now that she is making decisions for our kids without even allowing a conversation or compromise.  Decisions like taking the kids on my week out of province during my week(during their cousins birthday party), her deciding not to work for the summer to have the kids full time, and who we can see and not see on my week with the kids.

She wants more money out of me which I could care less about at this point but still a factor for mediation.   She is bringing the kids into the arguments with me and other family members which is creating instability in the kids. My main goal is the stability and wellbeing of our kids which always seems to be the last thing on her mind unless she can use it to justify what she wants. 

Any guidance on the mediation or any advice at all would be awesome.  If someone has gone through this with their ex, has it been productive?
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BigOof
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2022, 05:32:16 PM »

Excerpt
My main goal is the stability and wellbeing of our kids which always seems to be the last thing on her mind

That's the point: Keep you busy with meaningless legal issues while she cements herself as the caretaker of the children (when in fact she needs the children to care-take her emotional needs).

Advice: Get an aggressive, no B.S. lawyer who doesn't get distracted.
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WalkingonEggshel
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2022, 10:17:18 AM »

That's the point: Keep you busy with meaningless legal issues while she cements herself as the caretaker of the children (when in fact she needs the children to care-take her emotional needs).

Advice: Get an aggressive, no B.S. lawyer who doesn't get distracted.

Thank you for the advise and clarity.  I do have a currently lawyer that deals with high conflict and knows of my exbpd's diagnosis's.
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GaGrl
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2022, 11:34:08 AM »

What specific advise has your lawyer given you to deal with the blocking and stalling tactics your wife is using?

Will your mediation include lawyers?
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livednlearned
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2022, 11:49:11 AM »

Any guidance on the mediation or any advice at all would be awesome.  If someone has gone through this with their ex, has it been productive?

Mediation is based on the presumption that both parties can make reasonable compromises or focus on what's best for the kids.

Given that your wife's BPD is considered severe, what are your expectations for this round of mediation.

What if any custody arrangements are currently in place?

It doesn't sound like full time parenting is something she is in a position to handle given her SI and hospitalizations. What has your attorney suggested is best for the kids?


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WalkingonEggshel
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2022, 12:04:48 PM »

Mediation is based on the presumption that both parties can make reasonable compromises or focus on what's best for the kids.

Given that your wife's BPD is considered severe, what are your expectations for this round of mediation.

What if any custody arrangements are currently in place?

It doesn't sound like full time parenting is something she is in a position to handle given her SI and hospitalizations. What has your attorney suggested is best for the kids?




Currently we are 50/50 split.  She struggles with them on her week for sure although she wont admit it to anyone else but me and a few of our family/friends.  My lawyer has not suggested anything to me in terms of custody.
I do have little expectations because it seems like she has no idea what she is doing or going after.  She said she needs to prepare the financial stuff for us to go through, and I asked why we were going through financial stuff if this is the first I have heard of you having an issue with financial stuff.  My hope is get help with co-parenting and providing our kids with more structure/stability.
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livednlearned
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2022, 03:20:24 PM »

Maybe treat the mediation as a temperature check without expecting it to bear much in the way of fruit. If mediation has worked for anyone here, I'm not aware of it.

I've seen skilled mediation in videos featuring Bill Eddy (author of Splitting and founder of High Conflict Institute), however the average mediator unskilled in mediating these types of disputes will not likely be able to overcome what's happening.

It's worth pointing out that Eddy makes a distinction between people who have BPD and people who are High Conflict Personalities. HCPs have targets of blame, are persuasive blamers, recruit negative advocates and have a PD. You can have BPD and not be a HCP, but HCPs will always have a PD. If your wife is HCP, that may require a different strategy than simply having BPD although the differences may not be great.

With my ex, his behaviors were severe enough that we introduced third-party professionals and their recommendations. This introduced goals my ex was expected to accomplish, like attending parenting classes, getting evaluated by a psychiatrist, undergoing substance abuse classes. No one expected ex to participate, it simply put reasonable expectations on the table and then ex had to organize himself to accomplish those reasonable objectives. He wasn't able to do that so status quo prevailed.

Mediation can provide some sense of how incapacitated she is in a professional setting, although even if she is able to meet the challenge temporarily, there's a good chance she won't be able to hold it together and you'll be back negotiating at some point.

Another very real possibility is that she will ask for more and then give away that time the moment she has it. My ex fought to have more visitation and while we were fighting in court he regularly asked me to take our son without even trying to exchange time.

It sounds like your kids have experienced trauma and professionals have witnessed these effects. Are you thinking about a custody evaluation?
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WalkingonEggshel
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2022, 03:41:12 PM »

Maybe treat the mediation as a temperature check without expecting it to bear much in the way of fruit. If mediation has worked for anyone here, I'm not aware of it.

I've seen skilled mediation in videos featuring Bill Eddy (author of Splitting and founder of High Conflict Institute), however the average mediator unskilled in mediating these types of disputes will not likely be able to overcome what's happening.

It's worth pointing out that Eddy makes a distinction between people who have BPD and people who are High Conflict Personalities. HCPs have targets of blame, are persuasive blamers, recruit negative advocates and have a PD. You can have BPD and not be a HCP, but HCPs will always have a PD. If your wife is HCP, that may require a different strategy than simply having BPD although the differences may not be great.

With my ex, his behaviors were severe enough that we introduced third-party professionals and their recommendations. This introduced goals my ex was expected to accomplish, like attending parenting classes, getting evaluated by a psychiatrist, undergoing substance abuse classes. No one expected ex to participate, it simply put reasonable expectations on the table and then ex had to organize himself to accomplish those reasonable objectives. He wasn't able to do that so status quo prevailed.

Mediation can provide some sense of how incapacitated she is in a professional setting, although even if she is able to meet the challenge temporarily, there's a good chance she won't be able to hold it together and you'll be back negotiating at some point.

Another very real possibility is that she will ask for more and then give away that time the moment she has it. My ex fought to have more visitation and while we were fighting in court he regularly asked me to take our son without even trying to exchange time.

It sounds like your kids have experienced trauma and professionals have witnessed these effects. Are you thinking about a custody evaluation?

My ex does have HCP and has always focused her blame on me for everything wrong in our lives.  I suppose I have no idea what I am getting myself into here but I want my kids to have structure and stability.  Yes due to this our kids are in play therapy/ counselling. 

I have been trying to keep the peace to not cause anymore turmoil and not sure if a custody evaluation will even work out in my favor as she is a good liar and presenter.  Also, I know if I suggest this she will get extremely vindictive.
Goals for this on her end is much different than mine.  She seeks help with understanding payments and obligations.  However, she has yet to put together anything in terms of what I do owe her for monthly child expenses even after multiple times of me offering to work through it with her so we can find out the totals on each end.  Her goal seems like a waste of time in my opinion as math does not lie and I wish to discuss the alienation and other co-parenting issues that seem destructive to our kids.  Do you know if that will be an issue in mediation?
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livednlearned
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2022, 06:01:16 PM »

How mediation works is probably specific to where you live and the professionals involved.

Where I live, mediators are often attorneys. When I did mediation, we had the option to be in separate rooms (there are pros and cons to this).

I recommend writing down a list of things you want to cover.

Have three columns. One is what you ask for, the pipe dream that is out of reach but not unreasonable.

Second column is what you think is best for you and the kids.

Third is bottom line, your hard and fast absolute.

Start by offering what's in the first column. That gives you room to negotiate down to the second column.

You aren't likely to reach the second column in mediation because of the disorder, but you might be able to reach 8 out of the 10 items (this happened in my case). The remaining 2 might be doozies, and those items can be written up in a custody order as "these items cannot be agreed upon and will be brought before a judge at a later time."

Then you wait and let issues pile up and go back to the judge and say, We tried to agree on item 1 and 2 but couldn't. Then hospitalization/neglect/abuse occurred and I would like to revisit these problems and get the kids are stabilized while mom does x y and z because those are reasonable things to do after Big Drama event (or ongoing chronic stonewalling sequence of events).

Column 3 is useful if your wife is so unreasonable you can't even run through items in column 2 and try to negotiate. If you get there early within 10 minutes because she's hammering on them (I get the kids 100 percent and you pay me all your money), then you end the session and save yourself some money because why bother. Don't tip your hand and let her or her attorney see what column 3 is because then she'll negotiate from there. You just need to know it internally because it's how you can tell when it's time to move things to the next stage, which is court.

It can be stressful to go through mediation. She might dysregulate just showing up for the process. My mediator was horrible. I had a good lawyer who was in the room with me and we were able to salvage the process but for many of us, it's stressful and can be a crapshoot.

Mediation was also quasi mandatory for our county. Meaning, it wasn't required but going before a judge without even trying mediation was frowned on. So, there was a process in place for lawyers to guide us to mediation as a way of keeping people out of the court system.

It might be different where you live but at a minimum, I hope you have a responsive attorney who can help you figure out what to expect and what you can accomplish.

My therapist advised me to write a sort of pep talk note to myself and read it repeatedly in mediation. I had a tendency to give things away and in therapy she helped me recognize this wasn't in my son's best interests.

Also, it probably goes without saying but your wife does not get to say who you see on your time. This will probably be the beginning of parallel parenting, which can be challenging both ways.

Have you been learning about parental alienation and how to offset it? Your kids are young, you're especially fortunate to be learning these things when they're still little. It's the other battle we go through. Court is for ending the contract, and it's one battle. The other is for the hearts and minds of our children  With affection (click to insert in post)
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mart555
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2022, 10:34:49 PM »

If mediation has worked for anyone here, I'm not aware of it.

It sure works for mediators.  I'm sure mine ended up buying a boat or renovating her house with the money I spent! 
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BigOof
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2022, 05:28:51 AM »

livednlearned, great advice. Thanks for sharing.

mart555, I hear you, buddy.

I offered to pay for meditation without lawyers involved to see if we could agree on anything. pwPBD said she would consider it if and only if I sent the request through lawyers. The irony!
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WalkingonEggshel
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« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2022, 09:12:38 AM »

How mediation works is probably specific to where you live and the professionals involved.

Where I live, mediators are often attorneys. When I did mediation, we had the option to be in separate rooms (there are pros and cons to this).

I recommend writing down a list of things you want to cover.

Have three columns. One is what you ask for, the pipe dream that is out of reach but not unreasonable.

Second column is what you think is best for you and the kids.

Third is bottom line, your hard and fast absolute.

Start by offering what's in the first column. That gives you room to negotiate down to the second column.

You aren't likely to reach the second column in mediation because of the disorder, but you might be able to reach 8 out of the 10 items (this happened in my case). The remaining 2 might be doozies, and those items can be written up in a custody order as "these items cannot be agreed upon and will be brought before a judge at a later time."

Then you wait and let issues pile up and go back to the judge and say, We tried to agree on item 1 and 2 but couldn't. Then hospitalization/neglect/abuse occurred and I would like to revisit these problems and get the kids are stabilized while mom does x y and z because those are reasonable things to do after Big Drama event (or ongoing chronic stonewalling sequence of events).

Column 3 is useful if your wife is so unreasonable you can't even run through items in column 2 and try to negotiate. If you get there early within 10 minutes because she's hammering on them (I get the kids 100 percent and you pay me all your money), then you end the session and save yourself some money because why bother. Don't tip your hand and let her or her attorney see what column 3 is because then she'll negotiate from there. You just need to know it internally because it's how you can tell when it's time to move things to the next stage, which is court.

It can be stressful to go through mediation. She might dysregulate just showing up for the process. My mediator was horrible. I had a good lawyer who was in the room with me and we were able to salvage the process but for many of us, it's stressful and can be a crapshoot.

Mediation was also quasi mandatory for our county. Meaning, it wasn't required but going before a judge without even trying mediation was frowned on. So, there was a process in place for lawyers to guide us to mediation as a way of keeping people out of the court system.

It might be different where you live but at a minimum, I hope you have a responsive attorney who can help you figure out what to expect and what you can accomplish.

My therapist advised me to write a sort of pep talk note to myself and read it repeatedly in mediation. I had a tendency to give things away and in therapy she helped me recognize this wasn't in my son's best interests.

Also, it probably goes without saying but your wife does not get to say who you see on your time. This will probably be the beginning of parallel parenting, which can be challenging both ways.

Have you been learning about parental alienation and how to offset it? Your kids are young, you're especially fortunate to be learning these things when they're still little. It's the other battle we go through. Court is for ending the contract, and it's one battle. The other is for the hearts and minds of our children  With affection (click to insert in post)

This is amazing advise I will most defiantly be using the columns.  Everyone that had there experiences and advice added, thank you!
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WalkingonEggshel
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« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2022, 09:14:29 AM »

Have you been learning about parental alienation and how to offset it? Your kids are young, you're especially fortunate to be learning these things when they're still little. It's the other battle we go through. Court is for ending the contract, and it's one battle. The other is for the hearts and minds of our children  With affection (click to insert in post)

I have been learning much.  We had social workers assigned to our family when my ex was hospitalized and I have been working with her for a little over a year now. 
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livednlearned
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« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2022, 02:06:40 PM »

We are heading to mediation to see if we can solve this out of the court.
 

It might be more helpful to look at this as "We are heading to mediation so I can learn what to expect in court."

Mediation continues to shine light on behaviors that were more-or-less contained within the family.

It is another data point that you will string together with other instances involving third-party professionals. This way you can, in time, at the right moment and probably in front of a judge, paint a pictures of the whole story, particularly as it impacts the kids.

"She was hospitalized."
"The kids are in play therapy for trauma."
"We tried mediation."

These events tend to roll up together. They are things that happen before we get to court.

As opposed to:

"She was hospitalized."
"The kids are in play therapy for trauma."
"Mediation helped solve all our issues."

It is at the point now that she is making decisions for our kids without even allowing a conversation or compromise.

Mediation will not likely change this. She is more likely to look at mediation as a way to enlist everyone else to see things her way.

What you may find interesting is the ways in which she stonewalls any forward momentum. If there is nothing in place and no one to stop her from doing what she wants, why would she be motivated to participate in what to her might change this?
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ForeverDad
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2022, 08:05:31 PM »

How does she validate what is 50/50 and what is not?

Does the court order enable her to decide what you can do on your parenting time?  Or, most likely, is it silent on that aspect?

She can't (legally) claim, "You can't take the children elsewhere on your time", unless there is some basis or clause in the custody order such as "Neither parent can take the children out of state without the other parent's consent."  Even then, what does "out of state" mean?  Across the border to visit an amusement park?

In my custody and parenting order it was very clear... my time was my time, her time was her time.  Period.  She could complain but it never went anywhere in court.

I wonder whether there is something in the custody aspect (such as decision making) that she believes grants her the right to decide how you parent?
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