Divorce Courts versus Divorce Mediation
You’ve decided to seek a divorce. Your nerves are frayed and your are starting to feel the strain. Your children are sad and upset. What do you do? Litigate or Mediate? Consider Divorce Mediation. It’s the better alternative.
IT COSTS LESS. Getting divorced by means of Divorce Mediation commonly costs around R 15,000 for a basic mediated matter. These costs can be shared. If spouses were to appoint attorneys to represent them in the divorce, they would each be paying a retainer of about R 25,000 - R 50 000 just to get the process started.
IT TAKES LESS TIME. In a comfortable and constructive manner, issues get resolved in a fraction of the time. No drawn out litigation, no expensive delays.
EASIER ON THE CHILDREN. The worst aspect of a divorce for children is the conflict between parents. A better relationship between divorcing parents will ensure the children experience less trauma. You can even design your own parenting plans, which you can modify as your children get older without returning to court. The two of you will determine what is in the best interest of your children.
EASIER ON YOU. When you use a mediator to help you communicate and make decisions, it is easier to move forward and accept the past, rather than turning hurt and anger into an expensive court battle. This will result in less confrontation and less bitterness.
YOU ARE IN CONTROL. You control the process and because of this, the agreements made in mediation typically work better than those made by the courts. With the guidance of the mediator you will design an agreement that works for you and your family.
IT’S CONFIDENTIAL. In divorce mediation, all discussions and agreements are confidential. This makes it safe to be creative, which may lead to innovative solutions neither party had previously considered.
IT BUILDS ON THE POSITIVE. Both parties are encouraged to recognize the positive in the other person and to find common ground for agreement. Especially when there will be future contact between the parties such as in parenting, any remaining goodwill should be preserved and not destroyed. Mediation creates a win-win situation for all concerned and helps you negotiate a fairer settlement for both of you.
YOU CAN STILL GO TO COURT. You do not give up your right to go to court. At any time you can appoint a separate attorney and have the judge decide the issues.
A MEDIATED AGREEMENT IS BINDING. It is as enforceable as any other written contract and may be made an order of the court, if the parties feel this necessary. You are therefore encouraged to consult with an attorney before signing anything.
YOU WILL RETAIN YOUR DIGNITY. Mediation will empower you to make the best of a bad situation. If you can’t save the marriage, save the divorce.