Mediation is the process of discussion and negotiation between two parties who have a dispute. They both get the chance to make their needs and wishes heard vis a vis the dispute and then try to reach a mutually acceptable agreement about its resolution. The mediation process is facilitated by a neutral, uninvolved third party who is trained to manage the discussions and negotiations.
FAMSA offers family mediating services which include divorce mediations, post-court mediations and the mediating and drawing up of parenting plans. We offer a co-mediation model facilitated by FAMAC (Family Mediators Association of the Cape) trained and accredited mediators. All mediations are done in accordance with the new Children’s Act.
Mediation is a process which can be used to solve different kinds of disputes in relationships.
Although the mediator may sometimes offer up suggestions or clarifications to unblock impasses, they make no decisions with regard to the dispute. Their task is to facilitate the discussions and negotiations between the disputing parties and not to influence the outcome in any way.
FAQ about mediation
Who can use mediation?
You and a member/s of your family have a problem and need to discuss a particular issue.
Some examples of how mediation can be used:
- You and your spouse wish to divorce but don’t know how to go about it.
- You are already divorced but issues have arisen about the children which you need to discuss but can't because whenever you try to discuss things the two of you end up arguing and threatening one another.
- You can never have a decent discussion with your teenage child.
- You need to discuss things with your elderly parents but don’t know where to start.
- You and your partner were never married but need to discuss co-parenting now that you are splitting up - the new Children's Act requires that you formulate a parenting plan.
What happens in mediation?
- Each party gets the opportunity to tell their 'side of the story' and detail their needs in the resolution of the problem.
- The mediator will listen carefully and feedback their understanding of the problem and the parties' needs.
- They also try to identify obstacles to the resolution of the problem.
- The mediator facilitates a conversation between the parties that will lead to a better understanding of
- what the problem is
- how each party sees it
- what is hindering a resolution
- what can help a resolution and what options they have and
- ultimately the resolution itself
Advantages of mediation:
- Parties get to communicate face to face with the help of a trained and experienced uninvolved mediator and the process of mediation itself promotes ongoing communication.
- The mediation process is emotionally less draining than litigation as the mediator tries to help the parties move towards a resolution of their conflict and structure a healthy way forward instead of each working through a lawyer to punish and hurt one another.
- The mediation process can be far less costly than the legal one and far more constructive as the parties can communicate openly and collaborate instead of each working separately through their respective lawyers.