Frequently Asked Questions
Divorce Mediation can take anything from 6 weeks to 6 months.
If you come prepared with all the documentation needed, you will save costs and time on about 1 or 2 sessions. You are welcome to purchase my E-Kit. which will guide you through the entire process, give you a list of documents you need to bring to your session to save costs, explain the entire process and help you with the best questions to ask and how to answer difficult questions.
It is also important to know that the duration is entirely up to you. If you approach the mediation in a supportive, non-confrontational and civilized manner and the other party does the same, the timeline will be considerably shorter.
Although the person who booked the initial session will be held liable, it can be agreed in the mediation and also stated in writing in the Mediation Agreement, that both parties OR the other party will settle the payment.
I understand that this is a stressful environment, therefore I try to keep it as lighthearted and non-invasive as possible.
Upon arrival, you will be greeted by the receptionist who will hand you and the other party, a Registration Form (if you did not complete it already via Email).
I will personally come to greet you and take you to my office, where we will sit around a table. Although cases may differ, I usually let the party who initiated the divorce, have the opportunity to state their side first. Then I will give the other party an opportunity. No interruption is allowed, but I do give you nice notepads, where you can jot down your questions, and we can come back to have a look at all the questions.
You will be speaking to me and not to each other – Think of it this way – You are talking ABOUT the other party, not TO the other party.
We will go through all the documentation and paperwork until both parties agree and sign the draft. The draft will be retyped (This is not a session and does not add to additional costs). You will be informed when to sign the original documents and I will take them to court on your behalf.
This can take 1 session or 5+, all depending on how you handle the situation.
The average session is 2 hours. But cases do vary, and I try to handle as much as possible in one case. If I have an opening and the clients have a little more time, we try to add in another hour or so, to help settle the case faster.
Noooo, not al all. Mediation is entirely different from Litigation (a courtroom battle with lawyers).
The Mediation costs can be divided by the 2 parties. This means, that you will both be on equal ground when you walk through my door. I am a neutral Third-Party, acting in the interest of both parties. You will also have 100% input in the outcome of the Settlement Agreement.
Mediation is a gentle(wo)man’s Divorce, where we thrive on respect, supportive, polite and classy sessions.
So again, no! The money will not help you win this case, respect will!
- First of all – when a settlement is not possible (e.g. sexual assault of a minor)
- When a legal solution can only be provided by the court (e.g. Domestic Violence Interdict)
- When Mediation is used as a tool to fish for information
- When Mediation is used to delay a settlement
- When one party is incapacitated (Alzheimer’s disease / Neurological Condition)
- When one or both parties refuse to cooperate
- When one party have hidden assets
Absolutely! With a dragging courtroom battle, comes the liabilities of extremely high attorney fees which includes emails, phone calls, documentation fees for every fax and copy etc, admin fees and courtroom fees. And this is just outside of your own accounts, which also includes fees for your phone calls, fuel and time spent on attorney meetings.
Mediation fees are discussed prior and is a flat rate that includes filing fees, appointment,, communication, paperwork, admin etc.
No, you only need 1 Parenting Plan.
The Parenting Plan is compiled different for each child, because of their age, special needs, psychological background and in accordance with both individual parents’ agreement, schedules and timeframes.
Unfortunately, I would prefer you don’t. I have a firm belief that children should not be dragged into adult situations. If however the opinion of the child is needed, we will conduct a Voice of the Child interview, by a Professional Child Psychologist, and you will both be informed prior to the interview.
No worries, that is why I am here. I have specialized calculation that will be tailored according to your specific case. I know exactly what to do with it, all you have to is bring along all documentation regarding all your expenses and income.
Unfortunately not. There is no such thing as a common law marriage and maintenance cannot be claimed.
There are however certain cases where there is a child or business partnership between 2 individuals that are disputed and in those cases, Mediation is appropriate and you do have a claim against your ex-partner.
Absolutely not. According to the Children’s Act Section 35, you can be sent to 1-year imprisonment if you:
> Refuse/prevent access from another person who has access to the child.
> Withhold a residential address (or change of address) from a person who has access.
Yes, you are liable for maintenance whether you have acquired rights or not. It can be referred to Mediation as per Section 21(3)(a).
Joint care is not recommended for any child younger than 6 years. This is in the best interest of the child.
I totally understand and the last thing I want to do is make you feel uncomfortable. In this case, we can have 2 separate sessions.
The downfall in this regard is that you are not able to provide your opinion regarding the other party’s statements. We might have a joint session if we cannot reach an agreement, but this Joint session can also be a Skype call.
Just take note that this will add to additional costs, as more sessions will be booked, depending on the nature of the case.
You bet! I am qualified in working with difficult situations. Every person that walks into my office, is an individual. Everyone has different characteristic, personalities and even personality disorders. I know how to settle disputes with communication issues, so bring it on! Every person deserves to be heard.
Not unless you tell them…
While court hearings are public, mediation remains strictly confidential. Confidentiality in mediation has such importance, that in most cases the legal system cannot force a mediator to testify in court. The only exceptions to such strict confidentiality usually involve child abuse or actual or threatened criminal acts.
Typically in a court case, the parties obtain a resolution, but control resides with the judge/magistrate. The judge will listen to both statements, and be the sole decision-maker when it comes to the judgement.
In mediation, we negotiate, vent, caucus and decide what will be best for the 2 of you and also for the children (whenever applicable). In this case, you will both decide on the outcome, and as soon as we reach agreement between both parties, the decision is made – see, by you – no one else.
You answer this – how long is a rope?
Conflict is everywhere in this world, we find it even in happy households, so, unfortunately, conflict cannot be avoided, BUT how we handle conflict – now that is a totally different story. When conflict arises during mediation, I know how to lower the bar and defuse the conflict.
I do find that opting for Mediation (and negotiating together) involves a lot less conflict that battling it out in court. Especially if there are children involved and you need to maintain a decent relationship for the benefit of the children.
In short, you cannot avoid conflict, but Mediation is by far the best option when conflict is present.
Nope, no need to. After we reached a conclusion, I will provide the paperwork, you sign and I take it to court on your behalf. I will then phone you to pick up your decree of divorce.
This is a legal binding document, fully enforced in a court of law.