Clock Gears

Mediation Options and Processes

Mediation Session Can be done onsite in person or Online via Video Conferencing 

“An ounce of mediation is worth a pound of arbitration and a ton of litigation!” — Joseph Grynbaum

“One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears — by listening to them.” — Dean Rusk

Happy Family in Nature
Family at a Beach
Handshakes
Car Side Mirror
Image by Brooke Cagle

What is Mediation and Why is Mediation recommended ?

Are you stuck ing a relationship that is just not working out or you keep budding heads with your partner and hardly agree on most things?

You find yourself working late to avoid going home or avoid the long awaited issues that need to be sorted out, but you just don’t have the energy for it. 

Most of the time life gets so busy you totally forget how to communicate with your spouse and speak a totally different language. Certain behaviour patterns you cannot tolerate anymore. Your relationship is just not in the best interest of the children. You have nothing left to give and seek the options of separation and/or divorce. 

When it comes to the end of a long term relationship and the decision is to seek separation and /or divorce, Mediation as a first step is recommended by the High Courts. Mediation is less expensive for both parties involved than spending thousands of rands in legal fees where you can just get together with someone skilled and neutral to sort through the issues regarding divorce and life after divorce.

Divorce can be daunting, even scary at times and most of us are not prepared for or expected this turn of events.

Separating from your partner is never easy and the people that are most affected are the children regardless of age. Mediators are skilled to hear both concerns of the participants, and help you speak the same  “language”, assist you to come to solutions to move things forward.

Here at MEJ Mediation we try to make the transition as painless and swift as possible. 

A mediator helps navigate difficult conversations, conflicts and communication. Using skills, training and knowledge to assist finding a path to an agreement to the satisfaction of both parties involved. 

Mediators take into account the emotional and financial aspects as well as the following : 

  1. Causes of the relationship breakdown

  2. Dynamics of the conflict 

  3. Positions of the parties    

  4. Interests of the parties 

  5. Best interest of the children   

 

 A mediator is not a judge and does not make decisions, the mediator’s position is neutral. 

 

Settlements are negotiated out of court and no legal representation is required, but it is at the discretion of the parties if they wish. 

MEJ Mediation has the assistance of a panel of legal representatives and advisors in the relevant fields if any queries arise regarding Family and Children beyond the knowledge of the mediator.    

The duration of the process is up to the participants. If both parties are willing to give 100% towards reaching agreements and participate in all areas of the mediation sessions, including the “Homework” given in each session. Mediation is the most affordable and effective option. 

The process can be done at any time and is strictly confidential, no offer or counter offer or information shared in caucuses can be disclosed in court. 

Mediation cannot be used to gain personal information of the other party to use against them in court if the case where to go to trial.

Intimidation is not an option in these Mediation sessions. One party cannot try and manipulate the mediator or the other party to get his or her own way. The process is in the best interest of the participants especially the children regardless of their age. 

 

The verity of agreements include but not limited to the following: 

Divorce settlement agreements 

  • This is the end goal that needs to be achieved. 

  • This agreement includes everything in involved Family matters. 

  • This Agreement’s content often includes references to other documents such as Parenting Plan, Maintenance order, Slitting of assets and finalisation of other aspects etc.

  • An FDF form is the first document that needs to be filled in. Please see the “Questionnaire and Ebooks"  tabs for the form and description. 

  • In order for the honourable Judge to grant this order, all aspect must be covered and defined clearly to avoid delay and unnecessary questions  

  • To make this process more cost effective, there are questionnaires designed to formulate these agreements. Go to the tab “Questionnaire and Ebooks” and follow the instructions   

 

 

 

Parenting plans 

  • A Parenting Plan Agreement is exactly what it says. This is one of the most important documents when going through separation and divorce. Whether you have just decided to separate or have been separated for some time, parents need to put a parenting plan in place for their children.

 

Download our Free Ebook for more detailed description and procedures involved divorce procedures.

 

Questionnaire and Ebooks

 

Maintenance orders 

  • Maintenance orders are court orders that direct an individual to pay a regular fixed sum to another who shares child caregiving responsibilities according to the law and or to a spouse seeking maintenance for a period of time. 

  • Children Maintenance orders 

  • Spousal Maintenance  orders 

  • Arrears Maintenance Order

 

Download our Free Ebook for more detailed description and procedures involved divorce procedures. 

 

Questionnaire and Ebooks"

Civil contract (Co-habitation Agreement)

  • What is cohabitation?

  • Cohabitation refers to when an unmarried couple lives together in a long-term relationship that resembles a marriage.

  • Seeing as the couple is not married, cohabitation is not regulated by law and does not receive the same protection as a marriage.

  • There is no common law marriage in South Africa and the duration that couples spend living together does not mean that a marriage came into existence.

 

Download our Free Ebook for more detailed description and procedures involved divorce procedures.

Questionnaire and Ebooks"

Domestic Violence Interdicts 

  • What is domestic violence?

  • Domestic violence is where a person (“complainant”) is being harmed by another person (“respondent”) while they are in a domestic relationship.

  • A necessary evil of domestic violence interdict, is that these interdict require a reduced burden of proof. It's necessary because these people may need help very quickly and going through a lengthly court trial is not going to provide them with the help they need. At the same time the evil part behind it, is that because there is a reduced burden of proof simply based on the seriousness of an allegation a domestic violence interdict can in fact be abused.  

  • Domestic Violence Interdicts in custody battles (at the time of divorce )

 

 

If at anytime you personally need help with this as well as an exit strategy please do hesitate to contact Michelle James, michelle@mejmediation.com in strictly confidential way. It is suggested that if you were to contact me by email you are to delete your email after sending so your safety is not jeopardise ( Be sure to delete your emails from your “sent” folder as well as your “deleted”) I will keep a record of our communication in a passcode file that I can only access.  

The Bottomline :

  1. Mediation is a structured “discussion” to assist a negotiation to help solve issues before going to court. 

  2. The Aim of mediator is to achieve formal agreements in collaboration with both the parties with best interests of the child/children in mind, 

  3. The process is more effective than litigation. 

  4. Resolution can be reached within weeks as opposed to years. 

  5. The savings in financial and emotional terms are unparalleled. 

In the tabs above you will find a tab called “Questionnaire and Ebooks"”. These Documents are very detailed questionnaires touching on all the aspects regarding Family Matters. Fill in the form provided below and we will send the questionnaire of your choice as well as the format you require. 

 

Please note that this documents should be kept confidential and not shared with anyone. 

Once you have filled them in and you are still willing to take this journey , ask your spouse/ partner to do the same and contact Michelle James at +27 0793654417 or email michelle@mejmediaction.com and we can start from there or alternatively we can contact your spouse/partner.

 

The Documents include :

  1. General Divorce Questionnaire 

  2. Considering Divorce Questionnaire 

  3. Parenting plan Questionnaire 

  4. Financial Disclosure Forms 

Image 2021-03-08 at 16.23.jpg
Image 2021-03-07 at 15.48.jpg
Image 2021-03-08 at 16.26.jpg
Image 2021-03-08 at 16.25.jpg
Image 2021-03-07 at 15.47.jpg
Image 2021-03-05 at 11.43.jpg
2.jpg
Image 2021-03-09 at 11.39.jpg

How the Mediation process works

We at MEJ Mediation follow 3 different types of mediation Models. Choosing a model  is under the discretion and consent of the parties involved. 

With that said, the process and duration of mediations is up to the participants. If both parties are willing to give 100% towards reaching agreements and participate in all areas of the mediation sessions, including the “Homework” given in each session. 

Typically sessions are held every two weeks, to allow time for the Homework to be completed so the mediation can move forward and swiftly.    

Below you will find the 3 different model we use. 

Standard Model :

The standard Model typically starts with a joint session, where we introduce ourselves and the issues that need to be solved. And work out a plan going forward. “Homework” will be given depending on the case at hand.

The next session may or may not be done in separate caucuses, where each party will meet with the mediator separately to prepare for the next mediation session, this is at the discretion of the mediator. The session are booked in two week intervals giving each party time to complete the task given in each session. 

A joint session will be held where we discuss progress and then what will happen there after. 

The amount of sessions vary depending on the complexity of the case, each session is 1h30min long. 

PDM Model(Party Direct Mediation)

The Party Direct model starts off with meeting each Party separately (this might take a few session before the join session can accrue.)

Only once they are at the point both parties are ready for the join session, then we book a joint session 

In the joint session the issues are discussed and may reach agreements on issues, it under the discretion of the Mediator if further joint or separate session need to be booked if parties still don’t agree.  

LEADR Model

If you would like to know more , Click on the Tab Questionnaire and Ebooks" and follow the instructions to download the ebook of your choice. 

Image by Erriko Boccia
Image by Erriko Boccia
Image by Glen Carrie
Image by Glen Carrie
Video Conference
Video Conference
Working on Laptop
Working on Laptop
Working from Home
Working from Home
Work From Home
Work From Home
On a Video Call
On a Video Call
Online Workshop
Online Workshop

Online Mediation

What is online mediation, what do you need , how does it work and What are the benefits ?

Online mediation video conferencing in the comfort and convenience of your own place of safety. This can be done in your home with no interruptions or in your office. No traveling, traffic or the odd stop ’n go section making a 10 min drive turn into a an hour. 

 

Online mediation afford parties much greater flexibility in terms of meeting location. ... Another key point is that online mediation removes the physicality associated with in person mediation. Heightened emotions, mistrust and even fear can lead to stress and anxiety in face to face situations.

Online Mediation is ideal when it comes to the case where each party is situated in a different province or country as well as if there is any case of physical abuse or extreme heightened emotions.  

Online mediation can not be done sitting at your local pub or favourite coffee shop. Even though the sessions are online the respect of confidentiality still applies as if you were physically sitting in the mediator’s office. 

We Use platforms such as Zoom, Google Meets and Microsoft teams, simple to download and use on your smart mobile device or computer at home (as long as there is a camera and internet connection, and Extreme privacy.) A Laptop with a camera comes highly recommended.  

The sessions are private and confidential (as they all are) 

I personally prefer using Zoom as this platform has all the features as a running a physical practice except its online and only cost you your internet connection.

Sometimes when a mediation comes up, one of the parties involved are not in the same province or country because of work etc. waiting for the person to finally come back from overseas or from another provinces can be time consuming and could probably make the conflict worsen because this are delayed for sometime 3 month at a time depending on the other parties schedules.  The level of conflict can be so high it can get to a point of someone being physically attacks during a session. Online mediation will prevent that from happening in the session. 

 

Online Mediation is a more cost effective way of mediating.

 

The Bottomline :

 

  1. Online mediation video conferencing in the comfort and convinces in your own place of safety.

  2. Online mediation removes the physicality associated with in person mediation. Heightened emotions, mistrust and even fear can lead to stress and anxiety in face to face situations.

  3. Online Mediation is ideal when it comes to the case where each party is situated in a different province or country

  4. We Use platforms such as Zoom.

  5. All you need is a smart mobile device or computer at home (as long as there is a camera and internet connection, and Extreme privacy.) A Laptop with a camera comes highly recommended.  

  6. The sessions are private and confidential (as they all are)

  7. No traveling, traffic or the odd stop’n go section making a 10 min drive turn into a an hour.

  8. Online Mediation is a more cost effective way of mediating.​

If you would like to know more , Click on the Tab Questionnaire and Ebooks" and follow the instructions to download the ebook of your choice. 

Get in Touch

Divorce & Conflict Coach

Questionnaires & Ebook