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I have a mediation scheduled with the stbx in two weeks! Child custody I assume will be the big topic I assume. I am also co-owner of a company and I have filed marital misconduct as well for her adultery. The custody is my main concern! How should I prepare my self for this process? What mind set should I have going in to this?
Going in knowing your goals and what you will and will not negotiate on helps. Also I've been through 4 mediations now and the best approach has been to focus on single issues and get them agreed to and signed off if possible before moving on.
You could get bogged down on your company ownership so my advice is to get custody nailed down and signed off first.
Before my custody case was transferred, there was an agency that did mediation sessions. The sessions are free if you are pro se and they only ask for a donation, something like $10 per session (typically 1 hour) per person. Since mediation is mandatory before filing any motions in court, this is something that saved a lot of money.
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Usually there are low cost mediation solutions such as a law school professor that does mediation for side money or a counselor with mediator training. In the long run though I wouldn't hold out much hope unless the NJ is wishy washy or can be talked into things easily. Mediators are trained to strike a comprimise that is mutually acceptable to both parties -- sometimes this means that they (stupidly) insist on making apples look like oranges. Only you really know whether that is likely a waste of your time or not -- really depends on what you want and how far away those wants are from what the NJ wants or is willing to accept.
Not that it's completely useless. In general if you can agree about *SOME* things ahead of time that's less lawyer time in the courtroom which saves you both money.
Mediation is something we all have faced. Not minimizing your concerns, just want to lay the groundwork that you can search the board for instances of "mediation" and find a bunch of tips from many guys going through the process. Good luck!
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hoosier_dad wrote:Going in knowing your goals and what you will and will not negotiate on helps. Also I've been through 4 mediations now and the best approach has been to focus on single issues and get them agreed to and signed off if possible before moving on.
Ditto ditto ditto!
Don't try and do a global deal. Get the kids signed off on and refuse to discuss money until you do. Present everything in "the best interest of the children". If your mediator is anything like mine (4 sessions with him) he will work you over, but when he is in the room with her hes beatn on her just as hard. Be calm, professional and put the kids first. DON'T SETTLE for less than your goals! Make the first offer and look up the "anchoring effect"