ForMediation forms part of the Social Justice Network comprising of various experts in the Family Law field. Our mission is to provide families with a safe environment in which they can reach lasting agreements that will suit their unique circumstances.
For Mediation was founded in 2020 by Bonita Nel, who wants to help families after seeing the effect that breakups have on the children affected. Her aim is for peaceful seperation, and to preserve relationships with both parents where children are involved.
Bonita holds a law degree from the University of South Africa, and is a Family and Divorce mediator with the Social Justice Foundation Association of Members (SJFAM). Her special interests are family law, child maintenance and parenting plans, divorce mediation and spousal maintenance.
WHAT IS MEDIATION?
Mediation is a process where a neutral and skilled mediator can assist families who are in conflict to work out arrangements for themselves and their children. Mediation is a voluntary process that can help two sides to reach an acceptable solution to their differences. A mediator can help the parties to examine ideas and options in a neutral, safe environment where they are both free to express their opinions. For Mediation treats the mediation as confidential and does not provide information to any third party, except where the parties expressly agree to this (such as sending summaries to your respective attorneys, if they have not taken part in the mediation).
WHAT IS LITIGATION?
Litigation is the process of taking a dispute to a court of law. This process is complicated and formal, involving a series of technical steps in terms of the prescribed rules of the court. The parties are dependent on the experience of their legal representatives and the court’s interpretation of the facts of their case and the law, thereby placing the outcome of their case in the hands of other persons. The alternative to litigation in family matters is conciliation, mediation and facilitation.
WHY CHOOSE MEDIATION OVER LITIGATION?
Compared to litigation, mediation is much less stressful. The process is easier and less formal than traditional litigation.
The average cost of a litigated maintenance matter (increase/ arrear maintenance) can easily be more than R30 000 and the average cost of a mediated matter is usually less than R6000. When both spouses use one mediator they can share the cost. If they decide to mediate the dispute, they can expect to save more than 75% on legal costs. Should they choose to appoint an attorney, his or her fees should be discussed at the first consultation to avoid any later surprises. Litigation can easily trigger increased conflict, resulting in increased legal costs. A mediated divorce is typically settled in 6 hours or less. For those who cannot find a settlement through mediation, traditional legal intervention through divorce attorneys is always available as the next step.
YOU HAVE MORE CONTROL OVER DECISIONS
Would you prefer to make your own decision regarding your family, or would you rather let someone else decide on your behalf? When a family dispute goes to trial, the court will decide what is best for you and your family. You will then have to abide by the court’s decision. A better approach is to sit with your ex-partner and a skilled mediator and spend as much time as is needed to agree on the issues at hand. According to statistics, mediation takes 95% less time than court proceedings.
MOST CASES SETTLE
Did you know that most lawsuits settle on the doorsteps of the court? Why then not mediate your case from the onset? When the case is settled through mediation, the agreement can still be made an order of court. 80% of our cases settle during the first conciliation session.
MORE ENDURING AGREEMENTS
When “solutions” are imposed on people, they are more likely to resist them. A court may order certain specific conditions (such as a child visitation schedule) in a litigated divorce. This may cause one of the parties to comply reluctantly, leading to on-going strife, friction and misery. People who work together voluntarily to create a shared, mutually beneficial plan have a vested interest in the success of the plan. There is a much higher likelihood of the parties abiding by such a mutual agreement and having less conflict in the future.
A Cohabitation Agreement is a formal contract that protects the personal interests of the parties moving in together and regulates the financial aspects of the relationship. The completed agreement is valid and binding in law until the parties get married or a child is born.
DIVORCE SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATIONS
Divorce Mediation is a collaborative and cost effective way for spouses to end their marriage.
We mediate contested and uncontested divorces to reach a mutual settlement agreement.
We discuss the division of assets, maintenance and contact with the children if any.
Our divorce package starts from R4900.00
DIVISION OF ASSETS & LIABILITIES
Dividing marital property can be challenging but it doesn’t have to be. Parties choosing to mediate have the power to divide their marital property in any way they choose. The signed agreement can be submitted to court and will form part of your divorce order.
A Parenting Plan is a written document that outlines how parents will raise their child after separation or divorce. It can focus on describing parenting arrangements such as: where and with whom the children will live, contact between the children and other people (including grandparents if any), schooling and religion, rules and guidelines for discipline and how conflict between parents will be resolved.
Our Parenting Plan package starts from R3700.00 and includes a 90 minute mediation session with the drafted parenting plan.
PARENTAL RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITY AGREEMENTS
This is a document where a person who has parental rights and responsibilities in respect of a child (usually the mom but not always) enters into an agreement providing and consenting to the acquisition of such parental rights and responsibilities by:
1. The biological dad of the child who doesn’t have parental rights and responsibilities in respect of the child. (Unwedded fathers)
2. Any other party having an interest in the care, well-being and development of the child.
FAMILY MAINTENANCE ISSUES
Claiming maintenance doesn’t have to be difficult. We will assist you and your ex by calculating the amount of maintenance due, mediating your case to reach a mutual agreement and will help you have this made a court order.
MEDIATION IN CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES
A change in circumstance such as relocation or change of employment can render provisions in existing agreements impractical.
We can assist with revised contact schedules and maintenance agreements.
PARENTING CO-ORDINATION / CASE MANAGEMENT
Parenting coordination is a child-focused dispute resolution process designed to assist parents who are unable to reach an agreement regarding the minor children and /or families who may be struggling to implement agreed arrangements for their children from a court order or parenting plan.
VOICE OF THE CHILD INTERVIEWS
VOC Interviews provide children with an opportunity to participate in matters concerning them during and after the divorce.