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Family mediation

Family Mediation – 3 reasons why it’s the best route when there are children involved

Divorces are rarely easy and tend to be more difficult when there are children involved. At the end of the day, everyone wants the same outcome – to be able to move past a difficult time and start afresh.

The divorce process can be incredibly long, costly and fueled with frustration. When using litigation, decisions are made for you with the judge having the final say. Mediation, on the other hand, listens to all sides of the situation – including that of the children and works to come up with the best outcome of a case for everyone involved.

Here are my top reasons why family mediation is the best way forward when going through a divorce:

  1. Mediation is a quicker process than litigation

When parties approach attorneys to assist in a divorce dispute this may lead to a drawn-out divorce driven by litigation. Often it becomes a conversation between attorneys who then relay information to either party. This means that the parties to divorce proceedings no longer communicate with each other directly.

This can place any minor child in a very difficult position if the parties are not willing to communicate with each other.

Often children are unintentionally put in the middle of any disputes or are witnesses to fights between the parents.

  1. Routine
    By attending mediation, the parties can find common ground on where will be the appropriate place for the children to live, the maintenance that will be paid and the visitation that each party will have with the children.
    Through having this discussion ahead of time, the parents can present a united front to the children, which normally allows for a smoother transition.
  1. Trust
    Being able to negotiate terms of settlement which will be suitable for both parties means that the agreements that are made are much more likely to be adhered to. Having a united front, agreements on schedules and a routine to turn to allow for a sense of trust to be rebuilt, where there may have been anger and resentment following the decision of a divorce.

Mediation has been proven, time and time again, to be an effective method of working through the divorce process.

It takes less time and money and very often helps to repair relationships when this has deteriorated, allowing for a better future for the family.
Mediators are trained to be neutral, unbiased and use good communication techniques. With the mediator being impartial – it’s hard to rile them, and the only outcome they work towards is one where everyone walks away with the best possible outcome, for everyone involved.

South Africa is looking to make a move where mediation must be considered before litigation. This is to help ease the pressure which our court systems face, being an overload of cases on the roll for any particular day. It’s also viewed to be the best way forward when it comes to divorce, for all the areas listed above, and these are only just a few of the benefits.

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