Divorce Counselling & Services

The decision on whether to end a relationship or to divorce can be difficult and the process can be lonely and painful. Our counsellors are there to support and guide you. We can assist you in making the decision of whether to move on or try to rebuild your relationship.

We are there to help you and your family through this transition and support you and your family as you move forward.

FAMSA has the following services for individuals, couples and Families (Whether you are considering divorce, in the process of divorce, or have divorced):

Divorce Services

Divorce Counselling

Ending a relationship can be a very painful and traumatic process. Not only do we loose the person who made out such a large part of our lives, but we also loose everything about him or her. We can suffer the loss of families, income, our house, our neighbourhood, friends, the loss of a partner and friend, and so much more. Considering whether or not to end a relationship can also be very stressful. Sometimes our relationships can be very conflicted, filled with hurt and abuse. At times we might feel that we just want to end the relationship and start over. However, we also hesitate as we still love our partner so much and there are so many good memories as well. Ending a relationship is a very big decision. This is a decision that we are not always able to make by our selves. There are so many thing that we have to consider like our families, our children, where we are going to stay, what are our friends going to think, what are our community going to think and say… At FAMSA we realise that ending a relationship is not something to be taken lightly. We are there to help support you through the decision making process. Our counsellors will guide you through the process whilst helping you to consider all the factors relating to ending a relationship. Our counsellors will support you in the warm and caring environment that you at times so desperately want. Unfortunately divorce effects so much more people then just our selves. FAMSA also offers you the opportunity to come for counselling with you partner or family. Although it is not always that easy to accept, our partners are also part of the decision to end a relationship or not. It can be of great value having our partners as part of the decision making process. Your family can also greatly benefit from entering the counselling process with you. The divorce/ separation process can be traumatic, for children and other family members. We can guide you as a family through the process and help you to find support within your family. We also offer a mediation service to help you and your partner make those important decisions regarding your children, access, finances and other important decisions that need to be made in your divorce. Mediation can often be more cost effective than the traditional legal route. Mediation ensures that your children are also heard, because “Children are for Keeps”.

Divorce Mediation

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.

Divorce Support Group

Healing from divorce is a process

Divorce support groups can help people with feelings of loss and failure.

People often feel alone when getting divorced and do not know where to turn. Many issues arise eg. how to deal with finances, children, a new status and sometimes stigma. People who are divorcing may struggle with low self esteem and isolation with many of their dreams shattered.

Please contact us to find out about possible support groups.

Parenting Plans

If you and your partner separate and the two of you have children, the law requires that you draw up a plan on how you are going to parent now that you are no longer together. The Parenting Plan is a tool or strategy to assist separating, divorcing and post divorced parents to amicably mediate or reach mutual agreements about any and all aspects of the changes that will affect their children’s lives.

  • It will help everyone involved to know exactly what their responsibilities and roles are in the ongoing Care, Contact & Upbringing of their Child/ren.
  • A Parenting Plan can be Mediated by trained Social Workers, Religious Leaders, Legal Personnel & any other person who has been trained in Mediation. (Ref Children’s Act – Ref to Sec 34)
  • A Parenting Plan does Not cover the Following:

  • Asset negotiation
  • Financial Matters (excl Maintenance) and Property negotiation.
These matters may be Referred to your Lawyers / Attorney’s. Each parenting plan is unique for each unique family situation. You put in as much detail as you want and include any issues that you think have been missed out. Once you are both happy with it, you can sign it and make sure that everyone who needs it has a copy. Children’s Basic Needs and Rights are central to the parenting plan (Refer Section 7 – New Children’s Act – No 38 of 2005)
  • All Decisions must be made with the Best Interests of the Child/ren in mind.
  • Parents primarily have Responsibilities toward their Child/ren rather than Rights to them.
  • Children have the Right to fair & reasonable Care & Contact with both Parents throughout their upbringing
  • Children have the right to their Basic Daily & Developmental Needs being met such as adequate food, shelter, health, education, love & care & all aspects related to psychological, emotional & physical well-being.
Legally Binding Implications (Ref to Sec 34 / Act 38 of 2005) Although a Parenting plan is not initially legally binding it can be made legally binding through any of the following options:
  • It can be made as an Order of the Court
  • It can be filed at the Family Advocate’s office
  • It can be submitted to each party’s attorney