Advice Column, Parenting

Raising Awareness about Mediation:

  • South African Divorce Support Association
  • Category Advice Column, Parenting

Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage by a court or other competent body typically with an undesirable effect.

A Divorce is a decision with emotional consequences that is, at its best, a difficult undertaking.

Clients choose to go to attorneys with a variety of needs, only some of which are legal in nature.

The end of a relationship is however much more than this.

Whether your relationship was short or long, there is so much more than a legal dissolution which needs to be considered.

A Divorce, realistically, entails 3 divorces:

  1. The Emotional Divorce
  2. The Financial Divorce
  3. The Legal Divorce

And they ought to be addressed in this order.

Mediation is a voluntary, interactive and solution focused process used in a way to assist and resolve dispute between 2 or more parties. Mediation keeps the focus on the needs and rights of the parties and helps them to negotiate an agreement in a solution focused approach.

Mediation is broadly becoming recognised as a more peaceful and accepted solution to end conflict and therefore is best suited for Family law matters which are seldom fit to be litigated in court.

Many times, divorcing clients feel stuck and unable to make critical decisions about their life, leaving the legal process unable to move forward.

Mediation is different from going to an Attorney in that it will support the clients in the divorce process by guiding them to make decisions themselves. It will not tell them how to handle their legal, financial and personal affairs but it will guide both parties through the process, if not more amicably, then more efficiently.


The Co-Mediation model, involves the appointment of two mediators:

  • A mediator with a mental health background and
  • A mediator with a legal background.

The two mediators work together as a team, to assist the parties in resolving all of their disputes upon separation or divorce.

The mental health mediator focuses on the mental, emotional and psychological well being of both parties and the best interests of any minor children, while the parties are conducting their negotiations.

The legal mediator, facilitate and guide the parties, to ensure that all of their negotiations and possible solutions found during the mediation process are within the ambit of the law.

In this manner, divorce Co-Mediation is able to provide broader guidance to the parties, accelerate the process of the divorce once an agreement has been reached and assist to keep legal costs down, by being less time consuming.

It must however be noted that the legal mediator does not in any way act as the legal representative of either party during the mediation process.

The recommended time span required to complete unopposed divorce co-mediation is 2 – 3 sessions of 2 hours each, depending on the nature and complexity of the matter.

~ The Law doesn’t raise children, Parents do & Love is not court ordered ~

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