Question about mediation


#1

My ex filed a motion to modify child support. We needed to file a counter motion because he’s in arrears and not following any of the original separation agreement with regards to child support, alimony, etc.

My lawyer says we must go to mediation first. She indicates to allow for 10 hours. This seems insane. As far as we are concerned, there’s nothing to negotiate. We aren’t going to negotiate with someone who has not abided by the first agreement he signed.

I can’t afford to pay my attorney $4,000 for ONE DAY to sit in a room, when there is nothing I will agree to. And, I’m guessing I will get billed for the mediator’s time as well? This is going to be 7-8k for the day.

My question is 1) does my attorney have to be present at the mediation, or can I go myself and 2) can I cap the mediation session to an hour since I know there is nothing to negotiate with my ex? He’s already told me that he will not compromise as well.

Seems like only the attorneys profit…I’ve already spent $4k with my attorney to just respond to his motion and add one of our own. This is before mediation and before it even goes to court. My ex owes me over 100k in back support – I can’t afford to pay these kinds of legal fees when I’m already in the hole.

Is there a cheaper way? this is insane!


#2

[quote=“nowin”]My ex filed a motion to modify child support. We needed to file a counter motion because he’s in arrears and not following any of the original separation agreement with regards to child support, alimony, etc.

My lawyer says we must go to mediation first. She indicates to allow for 10 hours. This seems insane. As far as we are concerned, there’s nothing to negotiate. We aren’t going to negotiate with someone who has not abided by the first agreement he signed.

I can’t afford to pay my attorney $4,000 for ONE DAY to sit in a room, when there is nothing I will agree to. And, I’m guessing I will get billed for the mediator’s time as well? This is going to be 7-8k for the day.

My question is 1) does my attorney have to be present at the mediation, or can I go myself and 2) can I cap the mediation session to an hour since I know there is nothing to negotiate with my ex? He’s already told me that he will not compromise as well.

Seems like only the attorneys profit…I’ve already spent $4k with my attorney to just respond to his motion and add one of our own. This is before mediation and before it even goes to court. My ex owes me over 100k in back support – I can’t afford to pay these kinds of legal fees when I’m already in the hole.

Is there a cheaper way? this is insane![/quote]

[b]WOW!! 10 hours! That is insane :stuck_out_tongue: … I know that you do not have to attend with your Attorney, but its wise to do so. When I went- there was a 2 hr min, and we stopped at 2 hours. I saw the mediator 2 times, first time for 5 min & she offered the take it or leave it scenario to me (from them), then I said no, and counter offered, she came back 90 min later- and for 9 min she said the same thing,… I said were done. Then they “suspended” it. I was upset about the cost too. I do have some ideas you might consider weather its You alone or with an attorney.

  1. Put together 3-4 offers and email to him/her with a copy to your attorney, and suggest settlement before mediation. Be reasonable.
  2. Put together 3-4 offers with copies & send just before mediation.
  3. Have written down on paper what you want & what you can be flexible on with numbers, assets, bank statements, bills, vehicles, Just before mediation, use your time wisely even if the other party don’t.
  4. If no agreement after mediation, continue to TRY & reach settlement. How? Avoid arguing & get to the point. Sell the house? Bills? Cars? Boat? Retirement? Support? Child support? Custody? Vacation Home? Airline miles? (you’d be surprised) Pets? Pictures?
    Unfortunately for my X … the X made no effort to agree on anything for a period of 2 yrs, I was wonderfully compensated for my efforts (tried everything to reach settlement despite the X being in Contempt) and was awarded by the judge my attorney fees later on :). YES!! IT CAN HAPPEN!
    Best of luck! [/b]

#3

I’m not understanding what the point of mediation is — we HAVE an agreement – it took a year and a half to negotiate the child support and property settlement agreements we have. The problem is that ex doesn’t follow either of them. He doesn’t pay the child support he agreed to, he refuses to pay the alimony he agreed to, hasn’t gotten life insurance, won’t pay other things he’s supposed to.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s no compromise – why would I agree to compromise and draw up a new agreement when he hasn’t respected the terms of the one he signed 4 years ago? We have proposed a settlement, but it would require he borrow money from family and deposit 200k into an account immediately. We would then release him of all amounts in arrears and all support going forward. But, without being able to do a one time payout, there’s no trusting his word (or anything he signs) going forward. If I compromise, he’ll do the same thing knowing that it will cost me 20k to take him to court.


#4

Yes, your ex is a real uhmm ***** :smiley:

There is something you can do to avoid that much costs in attorney fees. If your forced to go to mediation, go by yourself.

Instead of mediation, since you have a separation agreement, why not just inform your attorney you want to file for breach of contract?
or maybe show cause?

Not an attorney


#5

I’m not sure why you are being forced to go to mediation unless there is a provision in your separation agreement that requires mediation before either party files in court. Mediation is only required in equitable distribution and custody cases. Your attorney may also be suggesting mediation because that is usually a less expensive alternative to litigation. Talk with your attorney about attending the mediation alone. They may want something in their file that indicates that you have requested that they don’t attend.


#6

My ex and I have a separation agreement in place. He originally filed a bogus motion to modify child support and visitation. There was no court date set for that and he waived mediation since he lives across the country.

As a response to that, my attorney filed a Motion to Dismiss, Motion for Contempt, Motion for Payment of Monthly child support through collections, motion for specific performance and claims for attorneys fees.

My attorney said that the court would not give us a calendar date for motion for specific performance until we completed mediation.

My attorney is also under the impression that she must be present at mediation, unless I release her. She charges $400/hr and tells me to expect this to last all day. This is insane! My ex owes me over 100,000 in back support. Now I have to cough up 10k in legal fees PRIOR to even getting a court date to be heard? Is there any other way to do this?

I was hoping to go to mediation alone and save the legal fees for when this goes to court. There is nothing to mediate. I need enforcement of the agreement.


#7

If you do not want your attorney to attend the mediation, you should consent to your attorneys withdrawal before the mediation and then have your attorney submit a new notice of appearance after the mediation.