Divorce mediation is a cooperative and transparent process that is structured within a neutral environment where the divorce mediator will help you and your spouse identify, understand, discuss, negotiate and resolve all of the issues that need to be dealt with in your divorce. These issues include residency of and contact with children, maintenance, division of marital property (assets and liabilities) and more.
Mediation is a child-centred process and is structured around all factors pertaining to the Children’s Act, the Divorce Act, the Maintenance Act, and other relevant legislation.
The mediator will assist the parties, give guidance on the law and provide objective input, creating a structured path to an agreement, while ensuring that all factors pertinent to the family and the divorce are thoroughly discussed and the final decisions are made jointly. The parties thus control the outcome of their situation by deciding what is best for the both of them and most importantly, their children. As mediation is a consensus seeking process, it eliminates both the cost and the trauma of litigation.
If an agreement cannot be reached on the aspects pertaining to children, the assistance of a social worker or psychologist can be sought. Such professional will be the voice of the children, engaging with the children and providing the parties with a report on the children’s perspective and wishes. In the case of smaller children that cannot yet express their opinions, guidance can be given by the appointed professional as to age appropriate contact.
Although social workers and other professionals also offer mediation services, the patrimonial consequences of a divorce, such as maintenance and division of assets, does not fall within the ambit of their specialities. The assistance of a mediator, qualified as an attorney and having a wealth of divorce experience, is thus invaluable in guiding the parties to through the practical intricacies of dividing assets.
Once an agreement has been concluded with the assistance of the mediator, your divorce will be finalised by a competent attorney. This entails following court procedures and having the agreement made an order of court.