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**Question about private mediation***

Posted by on Jun. 9, 2012 at 4:15 PM
  • 15 Replies

Hi Ladies:

I'm hoping you can share some insight about "private mediation."

About me:

I'm jennifer...34 years old..live in FL and have  a 8 month old son named Brody. (born 10.03.2011), His father is 43 and lives in NJ. His father has NEVER seen his son.

Situation (current): We both have lawyers...he was served on 12/20/11. I am asking for child support and full custody. Father works FT and earns $80K a year. I am currently unemployed ( have been for 16 months) and I collectunemployment.

We have a private mediation scheduled for the end of this month. I have a call into my lawyer to find out why it is ot through the Court...becuase this private mediator is expensive...$225.00 for "2" hours...my portion.

Myquestion is..what can I expect during this mediation? Also, do you think its possible to be done with all this? I also am very firm about a few things. 1. I want my child support taken directly from his paycheck. no other way. 2. I want sole custody. I have been the only one taking care of my son down here in FL. I have no family so it is just me day in and out. Do you think this will happen?

 

Thank you,

 

Jen

 

by on Jun. 9, 2012 at 4:15 PM
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Replies (1-10):
brieri
by Platinum Member on Jun. 9, 2012 at 4:30 PM

 Hi and welcome to the group.

michiganmom5150
by on Jun. 9, 2012 at 4:50 PM
Ours was also through a private mediator. They do this to hopefully get you to an agreement before you go to the court. If you go to court, it's their decision and no one has a say otherwise. That does see expensive! Mine was only $125 for my half. He should be paying half as well. If no agreement is reached before your court date, you are st the mercy of the court referee or judge, depending
on how your state works. There is no going back and forth, no
compromising.
As far as the cs payments, they give you the option, and direct is best, but it took me about 5 weeks to get it. They will go back to the date the baby was born and go from there. So, right off, he will owe back support. Be prepared for him to ask for a paternity test. Pretty common. If he doesn't write you a check, you should get it from his taxes, the amount of back support. Hope this helped. Welcome:)
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sid1083
by Silver Member on Jun. 9, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Your mediation is probably with a private mediator as a lot of courts are taxed with providing free/low cost mediators. I'd ask to see if the mediator has a sliding scale based on your income; the fact that you are paying for a lawyer though might not get you much off. When I had mediation for my divorce, the guy charged his regular hourly lawyer rate of $200/hour. Location plays a huge factor when it comes to their cost.

I wouldn't waste my time demanding a garnishment on child support - that's not something you two need to work out. Mediation is mostly to work through any differences you may have before it goes before a judge. Most issues that come up during mediation revolve around legal custody (obviously), who pays for healthcare (premiums, copays, etc.), visitation (holidays, breaks, birthdays) and transportation responsibility.

Good luck.

jennieb1
by on Jun. 9, 2012 at 6:50 PM

thanks ladies...a few things:

 

1. Paternity was estalished last year (July 2011) when i had an amnidone.

2. I was never married to the baby's father nor lived with him.

3. He has never seen his son..nor expressed any interest...he knew where i lived, email, telephone number etc....and never once inquired about his son. I will let his father meet him and visit him. but NO shared custody.

 

4. I did email my attrney sking for a waiver or reduced fee since I am unemployed. Only reason I hired an attorney, was because when I asked the father for help financially with my son's crib last August...he never returned any of my emails...he fell off the face of the Earth...so I was told by numerous people including the Court..better to hire a lawyer...

 

Any more insight is appreciated...

 

PS - my lawyer estimates he owes $12,000 in CS so far....since my son is over 8 months old...

jennieb1
by on Jun. 9, 2012 at 6:51 PM

BTW...I'm in Florida. We live here and have jurisdiction...isn't child support a formula??? Cant they already start the CS..while we mediate everything else??

sid1083
by Silver Member on Jun. 9, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Child support is a formula, but there are things that can cause it to deviate from that formula. Things such as parenting time credit (if child is with each parent 50% of the year) and cash medical support. Finalization of custody and support is never a quick process.

Quoting jennieb1:

BTW...I'm in Florida. We live here and have jurisdiction...isn't child support a formula??? Cant they already start the CS..while we mediate everything else??


Cpdsptchgrl
by on Jun. 9, 2012 at 7:33 PM
I don't know of any court that does not expect the parties to pay for mediation. It is a necessary part of things, but the court does not pay for it.
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brieri
by Platinum Member on Jun. 9, 2012 at 7:33 PM

 Yes, once you start it could go on for years - leaving you financially unstabilized.  If you work everything out at the beginning and take what you get then better off in the future. 

Cpdsptchgrl
by on Jun. 9, 2012 at 7:45 PM
To your points.

1. That's great that paternity has already been established. That will save a lot of time!

2. When it comes to custody most courts don't care if the parents were married or live together. That will likely have no baring on the end result.

3. As to sole custody it will depend on the laws for that state. In some him having expressed no interest will matter and in some it won't. For example in my state the law states that for one person to get sole custody the other has to give it willingly or you have to be able to prove the other unfit. That opens another can of worms here...their idea of proof is pics or video of the other person in the act of harming the child. So on that one...it really depends on local laws and judge opinion.

4. The lawyer is a good thing to have but as to him helping it again depends on local law and if there is an already existing order. In many places the other parent is not legally obligated to pay anything towards support if there is not an order for the court.

Also in regards to having his pay garnished , while I think that's the way to go be aware that many places have a limit on how much can be taken out of their check for support. For instance here, they can only take 10% of the ex's check. So in my case I don't get the full amount. He's still responsible for the balance and is in the rears because of it though. Also, here the amount given is based on taxable income, and other expenses that are being paid out. Rent/mortgage, travel, school expenses, insurance, entertainment, etc. Also here it is based in a formula and if one parent is not working the their side of it is based on that person's potential to earn. So here Not being employed actually hurts you. I have no idea what the laws where you are at are, but please prepare yourself for not getting a fair share for CS. I hope you don't get screwed but please prep yourself for it in case.


Quoting jennieb1:

thanks ladies...a few things:


 


1. Paternity was estalished last year (July 2011) when i had an amnidone.


2. I was never married to the baby's father nor lived with him.


3. He has never seen his son..nor expressed any interest...he knew where i lived, email, telephone number etc....and never once inquired about his son. I will let his father meet him and visit him. but NO shared custody.


 


4. I did email my attrney sking for a waiver or reduced fee since I am unemployed. Only reason I hired an attorney, was because when I asked the father for help financially with my son's crib last August...he never returned any of my emails...he fell off the face of the Earth...so I was told by numerous people including the Court..better to hire a lawyer...


 


Any more insight is appreciated...


 


PS - my lawyer estimates he owes $12,000 in CS so far....since my son is over 8 months old...


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Cpdsptchgrl
by on Jun. 9, 2012 at 7:48 PM
There has to be a temporary order issued that the judge signs off on to start support. If that hasn't been done yet then ask your attorney. Most places CS is based on a formula, but I know here the judge has veto power and can award any number he sees fit regardless of what the formula says. This is why I may have to start paying the ex CS even though he is legally prohibited from having any contact with the ex. Also, ask your attorney if not working hurts you. Here if your baby is over 30 months old and you are not working they base your part of the CS on your potential to earn if you were working. They don't care that you currently have no income, unless you are disabled and unable to work for that reason.


Quoting jennieb1:

BTW...I'm in Florida. We live here and have jurisdiction...isn't child support a formula??? Cant they already start the CS..while we mediate everything else??


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