Divorce mediation operates on a level of good faith and utmost confidentiality.
The couple decide which aspect of their separation/divorce proceedings they wish to have mediated. These include, parenting plans, separation of financial assets and maintenance agreements should they be in a marriage and have now decided to get divorced or separated.
It is important to note that should minor children (above the age of 4) be involved in the family of the divorcing couple, they will be interviewed by an appropriately trained person in accordance with the Children’s Act 2005 of South Africa, which makes provisions for the child interview. The views and wishes, as expressed by the child during the interviews, on the contact schedule they will now have to adhere to, in terms of having two homes, are necessary for divorcing parents to understand the impact the change of the family dynamic will have on their child. It does not mean that the child makes all the decisions, it simply means that their child’s voice is heard and that they feel part of the process and this may impact positively on the emotional and psychological well-being of their child going forward.
Post Divorce, the co-parents may still have a few hiccups in making the agreements and arrangements work for them after the divorce order has been granted. Mediation allows them to re-address those specific issues and find solutions efficiently and directly with each other, without the cost of unnecessary litigation.
Conventionally pre and post divorce mediation sessions should not exceed a maximum of six sessions unless there are compelling reasons to go beyond these sessions There are no hard and fast rules with time and cost constraints placed on anyone, as one of the most positive aspects of mediation is its flexibility and couples and co-parents get to make progress and decisions at their own pace.
Mediation allows for an evolving process, and the separated/divorced couple or co-parents may come back at any time to make changes to their agreements and parenting plans should a change in either of their circumstances warrant that it be re-looked at, even after the divorce order has been granted or they have begun relationships with other people.