Divorce is difficult. It can be both emotionally and financially draining for all parties involved.
A litigated divorce is contentious, lengthy and exhausting, and it can drag on for three years or more, costing a fortune. Divorce mediation focuses on problem-solving and developing a positive parenting plan. It also establishes effective communication between the parties. Therefore, it is seen as a positive approach to divorce and separation.
On average, a mediated divorce can take up to three months, at a mere fraction of the legal costs of a litigated or contested divorce.
Divorce mediation is beneficial for couples who are separating or divorcing, as it helps them plan their personal road ahead. This is especially important when couples need to co-parent for years to come.
This divorce is chosen by couples who are unable to come to a mutually beneficial divorce agreement (which can be due to a myriad of reasons).
In this instance the couple will employ the services of a third party: an attorney and/ or a professional mediator in order to help negotiations and to reach an agreement of equal benefit for each spouse.
The neutral third party will also serve as an advisory when it comes to various scenarios they could potentially face if matters need to go to court.
Some couples may first approach an attorney who will then be able to appoint a professional mediator.
There are various issues that can be addressed with mediation. These issues include:
Divorce mediation is confidential, and anything discussed between the mediator and the client can never be brought to court as evidence.
Mediators are trained professionals, experts in negotiations and staying impartial in all circumstances. A mediator’s aim is to assist couples set aside their short-term differences and focus on making reasonable decisions to reach a reasonable agreement which is equally beneficial and will allow them to move on, adapt to the new changes in their lives, and give attention to creating a better future for them.
A divorce mediator does not make decisions for the couple, but guides them and gives them information and advice in order to make the best decision for themselves.
The divorce mediator lessens the negative effects that a divorce has on the children and the family as a whole. They ensure that there is less trauma, and a faster settling down period for everyone involved.
There are cases where children living through an acrimonious divorce present long-standing emotional and behavioural problems because they are often used as "pawns" by one or both of their parents.
With divorce mediation, the best interest of the child remains of utmost importance, and the child will always be at the centre of all the decisions made with regards to him or her.
The mediator has no authority to make any decision or force any order onto either spouse.
Once the mediator has successfully helped the spouses reach agreement on all important matters, the attorneys can either draft the official settlement agreement or review the settlement agreement created by the mediator. Once reviewed, this agreement is then signed by both spouses and then made an order of the court.
The agreement is then attached to a summons and served to the party that that chooses to be the defendant.
After the expiry of the time period which is mentioned in the summons, the plaintiff will enrol the case on to the court roll and finalise the divorce, incorporating the settlement agreement in the final divorce order.
Although mediation is a more lengthy process than an uncontested divorce, it can still drastically reduce the cost of contested divorce proceedings.
If you and your partner have decided to divorce, but would like to do it in a way that remains beneficial for you both as well as your children, contact Van Deventer and Van Deventer Incorporated today. We are preferred divorce mediators in Johannesburg.
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