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FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  10 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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Im about to go into Mediation to discuss custody of my 3 children

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I'm about to go into Mediation to discuss custody of my 3 children (7, 10 and 11) and in the past 3 weeks since I filed divorce and he moved out, every time the children come home from a visit with him they are angry and tell me they hate me, they don't want to live with me and my 11 year old son has started calling me by my first name and says he is not going to do anything I ask him to from now on. I know that he text with his dad and told his dad he was going to "confront me and he knows I'll cry, it's expected" and he did - the prior conversation had already been deleted so it was not visible, but I believe my Ex is coaching my son. He is the abusive one and the yet my son is siding with him and even helping him continue the abuse since he can't do it himself any longer. So my question is, that this sounds like parental alienation. With a Mediator, how can I ensure that my children to not say to this person "I want to live with my Dad" and I'm left trying to win them back... What do I need to have on hand to best prove to the Mediator that this is what's happening and that I don't want to lose my children?

Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

I certainly understand your concern. Is the basis/purpose of your mediation to resolve child custody issues?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, I was previously wanting to do joint custody, but have concerns now about my husbands behavior. He's sent me about 25 texts asking my forgiveness, telling me he wants another chance and that he can't live without his family... and when I didn't respond he showed all his texts to our 10 year old son and said "see, I've tried but she doesn't even respond" to which my son got angry at me and told me how selfish and hateful I am. That he had seen the messages and that I "couldn't even be bothered to give a response to him?" which is a parrot of how his father behaves when I don't do what he wants.


We were supposed to go to a family gathering for my side of the family and now two of my son's have said they "will not go and I can't make them" when a couple weeks ago the thought of a family reunion and seeing all their cousins thrilled them!


I want to understand the mediation process and what constitutes Parental Alienation in a mediators eyes as well as what I need to be prepared to show them.

His actions could be a cause basis for it and this would be an issue to address with the mediator and/or Judge, if things can not be resolved, where it is agreed upon or ordered, that the father is not to talk badly about you in front of the children or involve them in any way, like he did before, showing them text messages and other information, with the intent to harm you and turn the children against you. The purpose of mediation is to try and resolve the custody matters, on your own. Mediation is not binding, so you are not forced to agree, if things can not be worked out. The father would need to agree that neither party should involve the kids in any way and must be supportive in the time awarded to each parent and when the children are with them. The fact that he is trying to turn the children against you can not be tolerated for this to work and he needs to realize it will only harm them, from a mental standpoint.


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I understand that stopping this would require his cooperation, this is not expected as reasonable consideration for our children's mental health is not be a consideration for him in the past. It's as if they are not people, but rather just tools and the more he can make them hurt me the more successful he seems to feel. When I've tried to discuss with him, his response is "well, this is what you wanted. What's happening to them is your fault because you filed for divorce and only cared about yourself as usual. "


I'm asking what I need to be prepared with - what are acceptable and successful forms of proof with a mediator and or judge (I guess since mediation isn't minding). I need someone to understand what he is doing to my son's. My goal is to protect my children by requiring him to take mandated drug tests, and potentially visitation that is observed by a 3rd party to ensure he's doing what's in our children's best interest and that they are not in actual danger while with him.

I certainly understand. What you stated above and what you want ordered, needs to be done by the Judge. If you and him can not agree to anything at mediation, it would go before the Judge to decide, which would be the point, where you can request those conditions be imposed and where the Judge may decide to speak with the child and learn about what is going on. Drug tests, supervised visitation and anything else like that, would have to be ordered since it is unlikely he would agree to that, as a condition to having the children.
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