HELP THROUGH MEDIATION!
WHAT IS MEDIATION?
Mediation is a dispute resolution activity which can be used in a separation, during or after a divorce. Parents are assisted to resolve the dispute/s between them by facilitating discussions between parents, thereby assisting them in identifying issues, clarifying priorities, exploring areas of compromise and generating options in an attempt to solve the dispute/s. Mediation is more cost effective than litigation. A mediator is normally a social worker/psychologist or a legal representative who has completed relevant training to act as a mediator.
WHAT DOES THE MEDIATOR DO?
1. The mediator helps parents in a separation, during and after divorce, with communication and creating a safe place for the parents to negotiate.
2. The mediator is a neutral person, who ensures each parent has a chance to be heard, shows respect for each other's values and feelings and explores with the parents workable solutions to disagreements.
3. The mediator is not there to give legal advice or to decide who is “right”.
4. The mediator does not make decisions for the parents who are involved in a separation, or divorce.
5. The mediator gives parents the opportunity to voice their opinions and feelings in a civil, non-threatening environment, without the fear of conflict.
6. If parents manage to reach an agreement in mediation, the mediator will put that agreement in writing. The parents may then use their own attorneys to review the agreement and to put it in a legal document during or after divorce. This agreement can form part of the settlement agreement of a divorce.
7. Extention of parental responsibilities and rights of parents can be mediated, even fathers of children born out of wedlock. This agreement can be a Parenting Plan or a Parental Responsibilities and Rights Agreement.
WHEN DO PARENTS MEDIATE?
1. Parents may enter into a mediation process at any time in a separation, during or after divorce, before approaching the court, during a court case or even after a court case is over.
2. Mediation can be used to mediate one aspect or several aspects of a case. Parents need to clarify their intent in the first meeting.
WHEN WILL MEDIATION BE EFFECTIVE?
1. When parents treat each other with respect and dignity during negotiations.
2. When they attempt to settle their disputes courteously, and in the best interest of their child/children.
3. Only when they are committed to mutual co-operation in resolving the conflict/s.
4. They need to be fair and reasonable throughout the process.
5. They need to strive for the least possible emotional and financial upheaval for all parties concerned.
6. Also, they should make full disclosure to each other of all relevant financial information.