Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

What's after mediation?

Posted by on Jan. 15, 2018 at 9:01 PM
  • 34 Replies
So I had my long awaited mediation date last week.. And no agreement. He wanted Monday Wednesday Friday overnights with every other Saturday. Our son is 14 months old. I feel like what he's asking for is ridiculous. There was a lot of back and forth.. Then next thing you know, almost five hours went by. I was offering every other weekend overnights with every other Wednesday. Along with every Tuesday and Thursday with his dad from 7 am -7 pm with him attending daycare part time on MWF to lower our costs (including his child support).

I came up with a temporary agreement for now that includes every Monday and Friday with his dad 7 am -7:30 pm along with every Sunday overnight to ease him into overnights without his mama.

So.. what's next? I was a basket case in mediation, I can't imagine going to trial. For reference, I live in Orlando. In case you don't know my story, my son was born premature at 27 weeks 2 lbs 3 oz. His father has yet to come to any therapy appointments (it's been 7 months and counting). The mediator had the nerve to ask me why I won't schedule the appointments around his father's schedule! Hellooooooo I work full time too. His therapy has been on the same day at the same time for the past 7 months, well after both of us are off of work. I felt so pressured to sign an agreement, the mediator really wanted 50 /50. 😔
by on Jan. 15, 2018 at 9:01 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
tottaxi
by Battle Weary on Jan. 16, 2018 at 2:09 PM
1 mom liked this

Everyone is concerned about going to trial.  Many times they so fear trial that they will end up signing a terrible agreement just to avoid trial.  Don't do that.  Judges for the most part are reasonable and if your attorney does their job then they will make sure the judge sees your side of what is reasonable.

That is not to say that it will all go exactly on your terms.  For the most part the judge will cut the baby in half in an attempt to be "fair".  I know that is scary, but there is a price that we will always pay for poor decision making no matter how long ago it occurred. 

I know that at the present time you are making decisions based on the young age of this child.  You are offering time in the midweek based on the child's current age and that the current situation that regarding child care and school attendance seems like a long way ago.

You need to not think about the short run and think about the long term situation.   In a year from now your child will very likely to go to preschool.  Two years from that kindergarten will begin. In my area most kindergarten means a full school day.

Once a child goes to school then the back and forth that you are currently considering will be horrible for the child.  Back and forth means that a child will never be able to relax at either home and will be constantly be on the move.  I think that since the court seems to be leaning towards 50/50 you need to consider making that time with as little back and forth possible.  Example:  Friday after school until Friday the next week for each parent...every other weekend.  That gives the child a full week in your care, then to your ex for a week and then back to you.  At least the child will have consistency for a full week.

Fifty/fifty parenting requires that both parent live in the same school district or at least able to take the child to school easily within driving distance.  It's also important the both parents are equally involved in the child's education and health care.  Your ex has not shown any interest in the child's health care, so IMO this indicates that 50/50 isn't appropriate at this time.

IMO, you must fight for what you feel is best for your child and don't give up until the judge tells you otherwise.  To give your ex so much just to get an agreement done even if it not in the best interest of the child is foolish. Drag it out as long as possible.  I think that every other weekend is enough...Friday through to Sunday.  A short midweek for "dinner" from 3 until 7 once each week is generous enough.  Until the child goes to school/preschool then your ex can choose whoever to care for the child on his parenting time.  Telling you that you have to use his mother during your parenting time is ridiculous.  A parenting agreement between two parents should NOT be based on the availability of a third party (ex's mom).  While each parent should be responsible to make sure that the child is cared for during that parent's parenting time, no parent has the right to interfere with the child's education in order to save a buck or a matter of convenience.

anonomomma
by Member on Jan. 16, 2018 at 2:24 PM
3 moms liked this
If I were in your shoes I would go in requesting every other weekend with a Wednesday dinner and bring proof of him failing to come to appointments as my reason why. If he cannot prioritize your child's health, then he has no business keeping the child during the week. Give yourself room to compromise in front of the judge but keep the schedule as disruptive as possible. What does your attorney say about all This? Ignore his attorney, he is being paid by your ex and is not looking out for you or your child.
tottaxi
by Battle Weary on Jan. 16, 2018 at 6:19 PM
3 moms liked this

I know that you are in Florida and STBSinglemom has the best info in that regard.  I am in Illinois.  When our custody process began I started out asking for sole custody and decided the only time I would stop asking for that was when the judge ordered me otherwise.  I think that has to be your stance, too.

Most attorneys want quick decisions.  They can collect your retainer, do a basic agreement and move on to the next. Not any effort expended.  It's quick money and quick turnover.  A good attorney will fight for what YOU want no matter how long it takes.  It may take a year or two to get the custody you feel is appropriate for your child.  It may be costly.  But this is the most important thing you will ever fight for.

Don't be concerned about appearing cooperative.  You know what is RIGHT and that is all that matters.

Goobergal
by Silver Member on Jan. 17, 2018 at 8:46 AM
1 mom liked this
What they said. Often they forget all about the agreement and go away, especially with challenges. Sure Court is a gamble. You will lose some things, but haven’t you already? Paramount is a concrete court ordered arrangement that protects your child.
NICU_mama16
by Member on Jan. 22, 2018 at 6:24 AM
I was originally offering that, but since it's so far from 50/50 I thought I'd compromise a little bit and reduce the daycare to part time and ads in an overnight every other week when he doesn't have weekends. I was very worried about the overnight during the week, because that won't work when he starts going to school in a few years. But the mediator kept saying that we can come back to modify it. I was like ummm I don't have money to come back every few years. And who's to say my ex will agree to come back? My lawyer wants to limit overnights, but is preparing me for the eventual overnights. She said they're going to happen, but not necessarily 50/50 like he's asking for.

Quoting anonomomma: If I were in your shoes I would go in requesting every other weekend with a Wednesday dinner and bring proof of him failing to come to appointments as my reason why. If he cannot prioritize your child's health, then he has no business keeping the child during the week. Give yourself room to compromise in front of the judge but keep the schedule as disruptive as possible. What does your attorney say about all This? Ignore his attorney, he is being paid by your ex and is not looking out for you or your child.
NICU_mama16
by Member on Jan. 22, 2018 at 6:26 AM
What exactly is paramount? He's asking for all this time to lower his child support, and I know his mom is going to end up watching our son all of the time. It's so frustrating.

Quoting Goobergal: What they said. Often they forget all about the agreement and go away, especially with challenges. Sure Court is a gamble. You will lose some things, but haven’t you already? Paramount is a concrete court ordered arrangement that protects your child.
NICU_mama16
by Member on Jan. 22, 2018 at 7:44 AM
I'm terrified of going to trial. Not just because of the gamble, but the costs associated with it as well. From what I hear, it's a minimum of $10k in attorney fees. I'm trying to think long term as well as short term because I don't have the money to keep going back. I originally was offering every other weekend Friday through Sunday evening with every Tuesday and Thursday from 8-7. I figured that long term, his dad can keep those days and pick him up from school until after dinner with him. I tried discussing this with him in the hopes of trying to come to an agreement and go to mediation again rather than start the preparation for a trial. However, he said that what he was offering was his long-term plan. Meaning every Monday Wednesday Friday overnight as well as every other Saturday. He told the mediator that he planned on moving to where I live in the future, but that is just a lie. I cannot count on that. Regardless, his long-term plan is so different than what I believe to be in our sons best interest both short-term Amber term. I tried discussing my concerns with him but he either does not reply back or he brushes it off. At this point, I am just going to have to wait to see if him and his lawyer file for a motion for pretrial. Then I will know that it near my lawyer have to prepare for trial, otherwise I have to figure something out in the meantime. Our mediation agreement was he has him Mondays and Fridays from seven in the morning to seven at night and every Sunday overnight when he picks him up at 4:30 in the evening. I am OK with that for now because it is easing our sign into overnights with him however this will not work long-term. neither one of us have the money to go to trial and he knows that. But he’s refusing to at least address my concerns. He keeps saying that I am preventing him from being a father and he deserves the same amount of overnights I do, which in the state of Florida the more overnights you have the less child support you pay which is why he is so insistent on overnights. I am thinking of it more as a huge distraction and inconsistency in our sons life while he sees it as just chow support. I am to the point where I will offer him less amount on child support, because time is more important than money to me

Quoting tottaxi:

Everyone is concerned about going to trial.  Many times they so fear trial that they will end up signing a terrible agreement just to avoid trial.  Don't do that.  Judges for the most part are reasonable and if your attorney does their job then they will make sure the judge sees your side of what is reasonable.

That is not to say that it will all go exactly on your terms.  For the most part the judge will cut the baby in half in an attempt to be "fair".  I know that is scary, but there is a price that we will always pay for poor decision making no matter how long ago it occurred. 

I know that at the present time you are making decisions based on the young age of this child.  You are offering time in the midweek based on the child's current age and that the current situation that regarding child care and school attendance seems like a long way ago.

You need to not think about the short run and think about the long term situation.   In a year from now your child will very likely to go to preschool.  Two years from that kindergarten will begin. In my area most kindergarten means a full school day.

Once a child goes to school then the back and forth that you are currently considering will be horrible for the child.  Back and forth means that a child will never be able to relax at either home and will be constantly be on the move.  I think that since the court seems to be leaning towards 50/50 you need to consider making that time with as little back and forth possible.  Example:  Friday after school until Friday the next week for each parent...every other weekend.  That gives the child a full week in your care, then to your ex for a week and then back to you.  At least the child will have consistency for a full week.

Fifty/fifty parenting requires that both parent live in the same school district or at least able to take the child to school easily within driving distance.  It's also important the both parents are equally involved in the child's education and health care.  Your ex has not shown any interest in the child's health care, so IMO this indicates that 50/50 isn't appropriate at this time.

IMO, you must fight for what you feel is best for your child and don't give up until the judge tells you otherwise.  To give your ex so much just to get an agreement done even if it not in the best interest of the child is foolish. Drag it out as long as possible.  I think that every other weekend is enough...Friday through to Sunday.  A short midweek for "dinner" from 3 until 7 once each week is generous enough.  Until the child goes to school/preschool then your ex can choose whoever to care for the child on his parenting time.  Telling you that you have to use his mother during your parenting time is ridiculous.  A parenting agreement between two parents should NOT be based on the availability of a third party (ex's mom).  While each parent should be responsible to make sure that the child is cared for during that parent's parenting time, no parent has the right to interfere with the child's education in order to save a buck or a matter of convenience.

ShyAnnaMomTo5
by on Jan. 22, 2018 at 8:17 AM
1 mom liked this
I had to go to mediation, we both had to pay a fee before we went. He wanted school day's, lol no as I knew he wouldn't be able to get her to school on time let alone pick her up on time.

He wanted Thursday, Friday and every weekend! Hell no!!!! I told the mediation woman that I was done and I'm going to court. We went to court the judge gave him what he asked for. I was so upset, but thought wait, he's going to show his true colors. So I was fine with that because I told the judge he won't be able to do it.

The judge said okay we'll see. Fast forward to a month into him having this plan the school starts calling me asking me why am I getting my child to school late?

They would call me and tell me that my child was still at school past pick up time and when was I coming to get her? I said why are you guys just now telling me this? My child was never late getting to school and never late being picked up when I had her. I told them what was going on and they gave me letters to give to the judge and what was going on.

I had the school social worker contact me about her missing homework and that she's went from an A honor roll student to now falling behind. He would get my daughter and wouldn't even help her with homework.

I had to go back to court on an emergency appearance to inform the judge about what was happening and the judge gave us an updated court date. Since I had no lawyer I had to file paperwork to give to his lawyer....I just trusted God and let him be my lawyer, which worked! We went back to the updated court date and the judge took away all school days and our final order ended with him having her only from Friday 6pm until Sunday 5pm every other weekend.

The judge gave him odd year's Thanksgiving 9am-5pm, and always Christmas Eve from 9am-5pm. Judge also gave him summer vacation but he literally never took it.

I would ask him if he was planning on getting her for the summer and he would say "no why? Idiot! Anyways, he literally stopped seeing my daughter after her 8th birthday she's 11 now.

I have saved text messages, emails (which I printed out and put up) with me asking him when is he going to see his child, due to him having a court ordered plan? He'll say" don't call me, I'm busy or simply just wouldn't respond back.

Come to find out he had my daughter sometimes. His aunt was the one who really had her, His aunt took care of my child. He would make it seem like he had her when he would drop her back off or pick her up.

I started to notice that he would pick her up but it would always be someone I've never saw before dropping her back off. I asked my daughter who was that and she had no darn clue. Irresponsible azz adults as so called parent's. I just don't understand why would a parent go so far as to going to court but stop seeing a child?

I hope to never ever see him again!

Quoting NICU_mama16: So I had my long awaited mediation date last week.. And no agreement. He wanted Monday Wednesday Friday overnights with every other Saturday. Our son is 14 months old. I feel like what he's asking for is ridiculous. There was a lot of back and forth.. Then next thing you know, almost five hours went by. I was offering every other weekend overnights with every other Wednesday. Along with every Tuesday and Thursday with his dad from 7 am -7 pm with him attending daycare part time on MWF to lower our costs (including his child support).



I came up with a temporary agreement for now that includes every Monday and Friday with his dad 7 am -7:30 pm along with every Sunday overnight to ease him into overnights without his mama.



So.. what's next? I was a basket case in mediation, I can't imagine going to trial. For reference, I live in Orlando. In case you don't know my story, my son was born premature at 27 weeks 2 lbs 3 oz. His father has yet to come to any therapy appointments (it's been 7 months and counting). The mediator had the nerve to ask me why I won't schedule the appointments around his father's schedule! Hellooooooo I work full time too. His therapy has been on the same day at the same time for the past 7 months, well after both of us are off of work. I felt so pressured to sign an agreement, the mediator really wanted 50 /50. �
goldpandora
by Bronze Member on Jan. 22, 2018 at 9:25 AM
1 mom liked this

What he wants is totally crazy. Not only will switching homes every night be extremely stressful for the child but it will also be for the adults. His plan would ensure that you continue to see each other every day (more or less) and it would mean that your whole free time would be orchestrated around getting the child to and from the other parent. And that's without even considering how much time your son will spend on the road every day.

If you have no coice but to settle for 50-50, do it a week at a time AND make it dependent on his moving into the same school are within the next 12 months otherwise the deal is off and he gets every other weekend. Make it painfully clear to the judge that your ex has absolutely no interest in your son's health (X number of appointments, always on the same day, over X period of time and zero attendance on his part despite the regularity of the appointments). Stress your son's health issues, your ex's lack of concern,  and the dangers of your son's health needs being neglected. 

NICU_mama16
by Member on Jan. 28, 2018 at 6:13 PM
1 mom liked this
I've been thinking... It can't hurt me to go to trial. What he's asking for is literally 50/50. Every Monday Wednesday Friday and every other Saturday overnight. That's actually more of 55/45. There's NO way a judge will give me less than 50%. I've been by my son's side since the day he was born. I spent hours by his side in the NICU, and as soon as I got the okay to stay overnight I spent 22 hours a day there with him for over a month. I think I just got a light bulb moment.

Aside from the thousands of dollars I'll be spending, it literally won't hurt me to go to court. The ONLY thing concerning me is the fact that our mediator stated he could ask the judge for make up time since he only had a handful of overnights in his first year. I mean I was breastfeeding and besides we weren't able to leave the apartment for 3 months after he was discharged from the NICU. I had a moment earlier today when I considered agreeing to the part time Tuesday and Thursday daycare, only under the agreement that he'll pick him up all the other days and have him home by 7 pm and still offering every other weekend overnights. But then I snapped out of it remembering my original concerns. Ladies, I think I found the strength to move forward.
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)