Judge orders mediation in Sanford divorce



CHARLESTON, S.C. — A judge has ordered U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford and his ex-wife, Jenny, to work with a mediator to resolve a dispute over money for their two youngest sons.

The two appeared in Fam­ily Court on Monday. The
issue is trust funds for the two youngest of their four boys. In their 2010 divorce decree, the two said they would “work together to attempt to equalize the trust accounts” for their youngest, who were 10 and 12 at the time.

The provision said the couple would try to make the amount comparable to what was put in their older two boys’ accounts, which were bigger because they were closer to college age.

Jenny Sanford testified that she and two attorneys have e-mailed Sanford a number of times about the trust account issue.

“To date he has refused to respond to any e-mail from me or anyone else,” she said, adding that her ex-husband has not put money into the accounts.

Mark Sanford testified that he has also sent his ex-wife dozens of e-mails, asking to discuss not only the trust funds but also other issues including visitation.

“There has been a pattern of taking me to court about issues that could be resolved by reasonable people,” he told the judge. He said he has a stipulation in his will that the younger children will get money to equalize the accounts and that his two state retirement accounts will also go to them. He said he had not told his former wife about the provisions.

Judge Paul W. Garfinkel gave the couple a month to begin mediation.

Jenny Sanford had no comment afterward, while Mark Sanford said “I’m sure hopeful” mediation will work.

Last year, the couple settled another complaint that Sanford violated the divorce agreement by being in his ex-wife’s home without permission. Sanford said he was there watching the 2013 Super Bowl with his son.