Please ensure that you have the correct facts before making decisions with regards to mediation, facilitation or litigation. Here as some facts.
Mediation is the best way to resolve disputes between parents. Unfortunately, it often happens that one parent is unwilling or unable to join the mediation process.
- Mediation is a voluntary process and parties cannot be forced to mediate.
- A mediator has no power and cannot force either party into an agreement.
The Children's Act 38 of 2005
Chapter 2, Part 6 includes:
"4) In any matter concerning a child-
a) an approach which is conducive to conciliation and problem-solving should be followed and a confrontational approach should be avoided; and
b) a delay in any action or decision to be taken must be avoided as far as possible."
- Facilitation was introduced to assist parents in high-conflict and is only implemented in the Western Cape.
- A facilitator is not a mediator (although the aim is to first attempt to resolve disputes through mediation.)
- The facilitator will listen to both parties and then issue a binding directive. It is important to note that should one party not agree with the directive, that party is required to approach the court to have the directive overturned.
- Facilitators (like case managers in other provinces) are normally appointed by a court order. Note both parents have to agree in writing in order to terminate the services of a facilitator.
- Facilitators are often attorneys, also practicing as facilitator. Facilitation can easily cost more than a court application.
- Facilitation may be replaced by Parenting Coordinators.
Posted by CoParenting