"A boat doesn't go forward if each one is rowing their own way" Swahili Proverb
Families are complex units. When in the throws of a divorce the complexity becomes more obvious. Emotions often rule decision making and friends, lovers and feven family become foes. Trying to contain conflict, planning an amicable outcome, and discarding old ways of hurtful behaviour is not easy, it is even more difficult when a couple is thrown into the stormy seas of litigation. The debris of litigation is very often visible in the emotional state the parties are left in and the children are the people suffering in the end.
Do we have alternatives to a litigation process? In one word, Yes!
Mediation allows for all concerned to not prolong the stressfullness and pain of divorce and move from divorce into a future where there are closure and possibilities.
What is Mediation about?
Mediation is a process where disagreements over various issues or disputes are resolved by a neutral third party (a Mediator). It takes place in an atmosphere of negotiation rather than through adversarial means such as litigation. As oppose to litigation, mediation can offer far less of an acrimonious atmosphere between the parties, the emotional pain and turmoil can be contained and skills to negotiate in future are learned throughout this process. Skils especially needed by divorced parents.
Who would need to come for Mediation?
When couples decide to divorce, re-negotiate or split up (especially when children are involved) they resolve disputes around:
- Custody, Access and Maintenance of the child(ren), and/or
- Division of assets and spousal maintenance
Why choose Mediation?
- You save time and money, the couple can split the fees per session and it takes less time than in litigation to reach a mutually agreed outcome.
- The couple formulates an agreement without the court making decisions on their behalf: they are in control of their future!
- The sessions are without prejudice and confidential. Creating possibilities to generate options for all parties best interest
- If you have children: The Best Interest of the Children are paramount in Mediation: The Children's Act no 38 of 2005 refers to Mediation as an important means to implement the Best Interest Principle (section 7) of the Act, promoting it is a fair and appropriate means to setting up a Parenting Plan. As parents we all want the best for our children no matter how much acrimony we may experience towards our ex!
- The process of mediation is understandable and both parties are heard and acknowledged.
- Open communication is created: to the advantage of future co-parenting and creating the foundation towards closure and stepping towards a new future.
- The role of the Mediator is to facilitate discussion and understanding around issues of dispute and conflict in order to help reach mutually acceptable solutions and agreements.
- The Mediator can provide information pertaining to the Law and Parenting issues (There may be two Mediators present to secure high quality mediation, in our practice we do not increase the fees when we have a co-mediator present!).
- The Mediator is accredited by FAMAC and NABFAM and experienced in various issues of Mediation, Parenting issues, psychological well-being of children and/or Family Law.
- Mediators are in profession either psychologists, social workers or attorneys in Family Law. They are trained in Family Mediation (and sometimes also in commercial mediation). They can inform the clients in their fields of expertise on what the general research, and law and practice lends toward, but mainly they are skilled to mediate the parrties and open up avenues towards successful dipsute resolution and solutions.
- The Mediator will send you all the needed information, biographical referral forms and Parenting Questionnaire (if applicable) to complete prior to the session. This way we are prepared and the session can be productive.
- A Mediation session is 120 minutes in length.
- The Mediation process can take three to six sessions (depending on the level of complexity and quality of participation of each party)
- Sessions are conducted by either a single mediator or with a co-mediator - as the case requires (at no extra cost).
- Fees are calculated per session and paid prior to the session (usually EFT).
- After the Mediation session a Summary will be drafted in order to follow the process and agreements propsed or reached, and
- After both parties are in agreement of the final outcome the Mediation Summary is converted into an Agreement of Settlement by an attorney and then made an Order of Court.
- It is advisable that each party consult at least once with an attorney to ensure their legal rights have been protected in the agreement and they feel they had a soundboard regarding proposals put forward. This is not an attorney as per litigation purposes, but a person that can give you an okay to say legally it is reasonable. A session or two is usually made use of.