+ What are the benefits of Mediation in a divorce?
Two of the most important benefits are:
1. Mediation attempts to focus on solutions for both parties concerned and especially towards the children. It does not focus on an outcome where one person is a winner, because for every winner there is a loser and in an acrimonious divorce there are only losers, no winners.
2. It is cost-effective. Often the man in the street does not have unlimited funds to afford litigation. In Mediation parties can dispute matters through the assistance of an objective mediator to reach workable agreements. This is done in a shorter time period and with more containment, thus less conflict and overt anger.
+ Shouldn't a lawyer be the person handling divorce matters?
Before Mediation was established and formally rolled out, lawyers were seen as the only professional that can handle divorce. After some prominent rulings in court and research conducted, now Mediation is a recognised option to explore.
Mediators are professionals in either Law, Psychology or Social Work. Skills needed to be a Mediator is not only knowledge regarding Family Law, the Children's Act, Maintenance Act and other, but also insight into human behaviour, the ability to contain conflict and work towards amicable solutions. The knowledge of the acts and family law is very usefull, so is Psycholgy knowledge, but this is contained within the specialised tarining and experience of mediation.
There are instances where Mediators appoint co-mediators to a case, this will depend on the case at hand and/or the Mediator's approach to Mediation.
Mediators should be trained in mediation skills and have knowledge about the pertinent aspects of the law pertaining to Divorce. Currently FAMAC is one of the organisations that train mediators and facilitators. Visit there website to get an idea of what happens in the world of mediation: www.FAMAC.co.za
+ Why should we choose Mediation when litigation is used by so many other people?
+ Can children really survive a divorce?
Children in divorce face a challenging road ahead. It is very often not the divorce per se that cause emotional stress for children; it is often the events during the marriage that contribute to their stress.
The most important factor to consider is that if the parents handle the divorce in an adult fashion considering the effect their behaviour will have on their children, then the children can "survive" this. Parents unfortunately get caught up in the battle of a divorce, often made worse by litigating. In litigation conflict is rife, and children get lost in the process. The hardly ever communicate and "talk to my attorney" is the new buzz phrase.
Mediation can make the process of Divorce much less acrimonious and instill a new way of communicating during and post-divorce. This will then affect the children in a much more positive way.
+ Why a Parenting Plan?
Parenting plans are not there to tell parents how to manage their children, that job you, as a parent, know best.
Parenting Plans are there to:
It is also part of the Children's Act no 38 of 2005, Sec 33. Here it states that a Parenting Plan is important when parents need to come to agreements regarding the best interest of their children. This best interest of the child is of paramount importance, this standard is underlined in the Chidren's Act no 38 of 2005, Sec 7
View our section on Parenting Plans on this website for more information on what it is all about.
+ Should the children be brought into Mediation?
When Mediation involves a Parenting Plan or disputes regarding children it is highly advisable that the voice if the child be heard. This implies that children's needs and experiences be listened to and understood. It also implies that the professional listening to them be able to relate this into practical terms ie: a Parenting Plan.
All too often parents and attorneys alike believe they knwo what the children are feeling and what they need. Decisions are subsequently made without real time knowledge of what would have been in the best interest of the children.
Read the article in our Document section to see what Child-Inclusive Mediation is about.
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