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Old 10-15-2014, 10:23 PM   #1
GLITTER
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FORCED TO PAY MEDIATION THAT I CAN'T AFFORD

I live in florida. Have 2 small children. Thank God, didn't get married. Got me & the kids away from their father after 6 years. He has a problem with drugs & alcohol. He was very mentally & physically abusive. Bee away for almost 2 years now. With no help from their father. Now he lives in North Carolina & attends court by phone with his lawyer. I have not been able to have a lawyer at any of the court dates as I can't afford it. The Judge before ordered mediation & it was suppose to cost each of us $60. Him & his lawyer cancelled it. Now Judge ordered it again wanting us to try to come on agreements with support & visitation. With conversations on phone with him there will be no agreement met. As he don't think he should be made to pay regular support & I refuse to let my 3 & 6 year old to go to Carolina & stay with him. Esp. with his past history, his record, his drug & alcohol use. Court is next week & they just now inform me that mediation is next week day before court & that I will have to pay a min of $200. If I cancel or don't pay right then it will be the same as cancelling which then I will be held responsible to pay my fee as well as his. This just don't seem right and I can't find anyone to help me. PLEASE someone help.
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Old 10-16-2014, 01:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: FORCED TO PAY MEDIATION THAT I CAN'T AFFORD

I wish to inform you that if you cannot pay mediation fees then generally you may seek relief by claiming indigent status. In order to qualify for non-payment of mediation fees, each party must obtain an Affidavit of Indigency from the Clerk’s Office. The Mediation Division will then be notified that no payment is required.

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Old 10-16-2014, 04:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: FORCED TO PAY MEDIATION THAT I CAN'T AFFORD

Mediation costs are shared equally between the parties. If you don’t pay the money then the mediator will normally not conduct the mediation. Failure to mediate may subject you to contempt of court. Therefore, you can state you are willing to participate but unable to pay and see how the court will handle the matter. You really should consult an attorney.
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: FORCED TO PAY MEDIATION THAT I CAN'T AFFORD

As I told mediation office. I submitted financial affadavit like requested & if they read it they would see I can't afford that. I'm having to volunteer 33 hours a week to qualify for $103.00 once a month from state cash assistance help while I look for work.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: FORCED TO PAY MEDIATION THAT I CAN'T AFFORD

Quote:
Originally Posted by GLITTER View Post
I live in florida. Have 2 small children. Thank God, didn't get married. Got me & the kids away from their father after 6 years. He has a problem with drugs & alcohol. He was very mentally & physically abusive. Bee away for almost 2 years now. With no help from their father. Now he lives in North Carolina & attends court by phone with his lawyer. I have not been able to have a lawyer at any of the court dates as I can't afford it. The Judge before ordered mediation & it was suppose to cost each of us $60. Him & his lawyer cancelled it. Now Judge ordered it again wanting us to try to come on agreements with support & visitation. With conversations on phone with him there will be no agreement met. As he don't think he should be made to pay regular support & I refuse to let my 3 & 6 year old to go to Carolina & stay with him. Esp. with his past history, his record, his drug & alcohol use. Court is next week & they just now inform me that mediation is next week day before court & that I will have to pay a min of $200. If I cancel or don't pay right then it will be the same as cancelling which then I will be held responsible to pay my fee as well as his. This just don't seem right and I can't find anyone to help me. PLEASE someone help.
Since the state has the hedgemony on granting divorces, they cannot prohibit one from obtaining a divorce due to lack of money. The US Supreme Court came down with that decision years ago in Boddie v. Connecticut (cite omitted for brevity). So the court cannot force one to go through a process to pay fees one cannot afford in order to get a divorce..

So, the state must provide for waiver of fees in case of indigency. The person applies to the clerk for an Informa Pauperis Petition, which can be granted in most cases over the county upon a showing of the person's income and resources. If you have not yet applied for informa pauperis to proceed in this divorce case, you need to do so, immediately.

Family law cases are now being routinely sent to mediation, without regard to whether the case is one that can be mediated or not [domestic violence, drug, alcohol and/or abuse history, etc., gross unfitness] -- cases which deserve investigation and a full hearing. What one needs to do in such cases is return to the trial judge with a motion for a hearing on the merits, vacate the order for mediation due to inability to pay. Further, that the issues are not ones that can be mediated but merit a full adversary hearing. With the proof of inability to pay, the court can then decide if public funds should be used to pay for mediation. Or use the court resources the public has paid just for matters like this, full hearing on the merits by a judge instead of mediation by a lawyer.

One cannot force one to pay what they do not have -- especially in divorce cases. You should qualify for Legal Aid also, so do apply for help. And document your inability to pay in the court file. Being granted Informa Pauperis should do it.
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Old 10-16-2014, 05:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: FORCED TO PAY MEDIATION THAT I CAN'T AFFORD

We were never married, so this is mainly happening due to make him pay child support as well as visitations schedule as I do not agree with my 3 & 6 year old going to another sate to spend a week or 2, esp. with him & his company he keeps & drugs & alcohol. Plus still want his visits supervised as they were with the restraining order in the beginning and his mother was the supervisor of visit as she agrees with me.Just now being told all this and here mediation is suppose to be mon. oct. 20th, then court tuesday oct. 21rst. No one will return my calls for help as well as legal aid
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Old 10-17-2014, 08:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: FORCED TO PAY MEDIATION THAT I CAN'T AFFORD

Then go down to Legal Aid, with children in tow, and make an appointment. The receptionist will have to book you one. In the meantime, get your IFP approved and file notice in the court file (1) You cannot afford mediation fees, (2) the father has a drug problem and is dangerous to the children, (3) you wish all proceedings stayed for you to obtain counsel which you are applying to retain.

That should note the file well enough to stay proceedings and give reason in the record why you cannot be marched to mediation.
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:32 AM   #8
messyjessi
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Default Re: FORCED TO PAY MEDIATION THAT I CAN'T AFFORD

Quote:
Originally Posted by GLITTER View Post
I live in florida. Have 2 small children. Thank God, didn't get married. Got me & the kids away from their father after 6 years. He has a problem with drugs & alcohol. He was very mentally & physically abusive. Bee away for almost 2 years now. With no help from their father. Now he lives in North Carolina & attends court by phone with his lawyer. I have not been able to have a lawyer at any of the court dates as I can't afford it. The Judge before ordered mediation & it was suppose to cost each of us $60. Him & his lawyer cancelled it. Now Judge ordered it again wanting us to try to come on agreements with support & visitation. With conversations on phone with him there will be no agreement met. As he don't think he should be made to pay regular support & I refuse to let my 3 & 6 year old to go to Carolina & stay with him. Esp. with his past history, his record, his drug & alcohol use. Court is next week & they just now inform me that mediation is next week day before court & that I will have to pay a min of $200. If I cancel or don't pay right then it will be the same as cancelling which then I will be held responsible to pay my fee as well as his. This just don't seem right and I can't find anyone to help me. PLEASE someone help.
is there a court order for visitation? if so then its not your decision that youre not going to send the kids to stay with their father thats a good way to be held in contempt and done enough times be stripped of custody.his past history didnt stop you from having 2 kids with him btw, he found him perfect daddy material when you slept with him not once but at least twice
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:12 PM   #9
GLITTER
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Default Re: FORCED TO PAY MEDIATION THAT I CAN'T AFFORD

There was a temp visitation that we & courts agreed on that stated he could have visits when we all agree on days & it had to be at his moms with her supervising while he went thru programs for help. That lasted a few times then he quit going to his moms to see the kids(even when he was staying right around the corner), quit any of the programs & went back to getting arrested a few times for drugs in the next county & courts kept letting him off & chances. Just slap on the wrist & fines which is turned over to collections now. AND YES WHEN WE WERE FIRST TOGETHER HE WASN'T SHOWING SIGNS OF ANYTHING. LATER WHILE LIVING TOGETHER HE STARTED CONTROLING BUT I DIDN'T SEE IT LIKE THAT, FIG IT'D GET BETTER. THEN CONTROL, ABUSE STARTED SMALL & I GOT PREGNANT THEN WAS STUCK & HE KNEW IT. HE'D CHANGE TEMP, I'D THINK ALL WAS GONNA BE OK. THEN HERE IT'D GO AGAIN & HERE I WAS PREGNANT WITH SECOND. THEN IT STARTED GETTING WORSE AS I TRIED TO FIG OUT WHAT TO DO & HOW TO GET OUT. HIS MOM & HER PARTNER WOULD HELP AT FIRST THEN WOULD PUSH FOR ME TO TRY AGAIN. NOW THEY APOLOGIZE FOR THAT & WISH THEY WOULD'VE SEEN & HELPED MORE INSTEAD OF PUSHING ME TO KEEP GIVING HIM CHANCES
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:16 PM   #10
GLITTER
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Default Re: FORCED TO PAY MEDIATION THAT I CAN'T AFFORD

The legal aid office around here is closed & closest is like 3 hours away & i have no way to get that far
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