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Family report prior to mediation - Is that normal?

Please refer to another post by me on this forum for a bit of history…..

My wife arranged for paid mediation in order to discuss the matter at hand (interstate relocation) with her ex in order to agree / or not on a relocation and a parenting plan. As you know with mediation each party has to attend a one on one with the mediator before the actual mediation session. My wife attended her session but when the mediator contacted her ex, he requested that a family report be drawn up prior to him engaging in mediation. He had contacted a councilor and provided the name to the mediator. The mediator then contacted my wife to discuss the request and and then suggested that if my wife does not play along, it will count against her. She also has to cover the costs for the interviews and the report. She then asked the mediator and subsequently the councilor, if the report is submissable to court because she does not want to expose the children to more interviews in the future if a report is going to be ordered by the court (Our solicitor has indicated that in our case the court will most likely not require a report). The answer - no the report is not submissable.

Is it normal for a report to be drawn up at such an early stage? My research has indicated that it is not. Is she obliged to cover the costs seeing that it is not her request? Will it count against her if she does not agree? She really does not want to expose the children if it is unnecessary. If the court orders it, no problem.
This is not uncommon. A party will suggest a report writer whom they know to lean towards their point of view. There is no requirement for you to agree to this. A routine comeback is to provide a name of a consultant you know will support your side. Otherwise no obligation to agree. There is nothing to stop them from going to one on their own and offcourse paying for it themselves. These reports can be presented at court, particularly if you both consent. If one gets one without the other party involved it could be tendered but offcourse would hold little weight and they really wouldn't try it.

"When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside can not hurt you"

Executive of SRL-Resources
Patronus, thank you for your valuable input. Much appreciated.

Interestingly, the proposed councilor phoned us yesterday to make various appointments for the children but not with the parents…hmmmmm. When questioned about this she stated that it is not necessary and she only needs to interviw the children. I thought a family report was much much more involved than this. To me it sounds a bit dodgy. I have read a few reports and they certainly don't just rely on interviews. She was also unaware that we are a blended family and my own son is also part of the family group. That changed the picture for her a bit. She was not told this by my wife's ex.

I don't think we will fall for this one…:)
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