Divorce Mediation

What is mediation?

Mediation is a way for people to deal with problems and conflict – it is an alternative dispute resolution process and an alternative to costly litigation.  Mediation is an informal but structured process.  It happens when the people involved want to talk to each other to find a solution to the problem but are unable to come together and reach agreement without the assistance of a third party.

What is the role of the mediator?

The mediator is a unbiased third party who helps the parties to talk about their wants and needs and reach a unique solution. The mediator does not make decisions, are not their to judge or decide but only to play a facilitative role in a forward thinking solutions orientated approach with a therapeutic undertone.

What is the advantages of mediation?

Mutually satisfactory outcomes, high rate of compliance from both parties, comprehensive and customised agreements (a tailored settlement unique to your special family). Greater control and predictability of outcome, personal empowerment and workable and implementable decisions. Mediation protects relationships, litigation destroys relationships.

What are the basic principles of mediation?

Mediation is completely impartial, confidential, voluntary, empowering and neutral.  Nothing you say in mediation can be used against you in a court of law. Both parties make a positive contribution to a solution orientational approach that is unique and special to every party. It empowers the parties to have a voice with an independent third party to help, assist and facility an objective process.

What is the court’s position on mediation?

The court is in favour of mediation and has set out a set of rules for court annexed mediation that can be found online.
In an interesting case MB v NB 2010 the court found that there were several issues that would have benefited from the matter being submitted to mediation, and that the saving in time and legal costs may well have been significant. The Judge further found that the parties’ legal representatives (and specifically the attorneys) has a positive duty to advise the parties of these benefits, which in the instant case they had failed to do.  The court consequently made a punitive cost order against the attorneys.

My ex-spouse and I have so much conflict, we don’t know how to talk to each other, can we still mediate?

Mediation is a response to the challenges raised by conflict. It is a particular attempt to intervene in conflict to change the course of that conflict and to manage the conflict constructively so as to lessen its destructive impact and increase its creative value for parties in conflict. Conflict is not bad or good it simply is. Most people are terrified of conflict – mediation will help you see the positive aspects of conflict, the conflict path and how to constructively deal with it in future.

We are already busy with a litigation process; can we still mediate?

Yes! Until the court makes a final judgement and give a court order you can still mediate to the last minute. Parties agree to stop the litigation process during mediation for the optimal effectiveness of the process.

What is a parenting plan?

A parenting plan is a rules of engagement document and plan for the caregivers of the children. It dictates how you will manage raising your children, contact, maintenance, finances and care for the children and becomes a “rule book” that parents can refer to. It can contain anything that the parties deem important to depict or plan out. It is compulsory for all cases for settlement in the court to have a Family Advocate approved parenting plan as part of the settlement documentation.

What is the cost of mediation?

The cost of mediation varies depending on the extend of mediation needed but is a lot less expensive than litigation. It can cost anything from R5 000 to about R25 000 as an average. Contact us for accurate pricing.

Does DGAP promote and encourage divorce?

DGAP’s core value system is based on: The freedom of choice, The protection of Family’s, The advocacy of peace. We believe in the empowerment of individuals to live their best lives based on their best choices. We do not by any means encourage or support the breaking up of families and we encourage all parties to reach out to every means available (counselling, couples counselling, Imago Therapy) to restore their relationships and families prior to making a decision to separate

Divorce Support

Why do I need Divorce Support?

Divorce is a traumatic experience and our brains – in dealing with trauma – struggle to cognitively process information in a healthy way. This leads us to make emotional decisions that we can regret later. Having an unbiased neutral person assist us in sharing a different worldview and helping us gain perception on what we are going through can be a massive contributing factor to grieving in a healthy way.

How is DGAP Divorce Support different from counselling?

Counselling is a therapeutic process that focus mostly on the mental health aspect of healing and processing grief. Counselling or psychological intervention are usually a short term, one-hour session per week without support in times other than consulting times. DGAP Divorce Support is a 24/7 hand holding process and looks not only at the emotional parts of support and healing but the logistical aspects of rebuilding your life as a single person, a single parent and a person outside of a marriage. We do not only address the emotional side to “getting back on your feet”. On the contrary, we look at what logistical areas of your life you need to address. Where are you going to live? When are you moving? What are you going to do for an income? How are you going to make new friends? What should you throw out? What should you keep? What is your options for finality? How should you redefine your relationship with your spouse? Where should I send my children for play therapy? What is my budget going to look like? How can I develop my communication skills with my new ex-spouse?

How is DGAP Divorce Support complimentary to other disciplines?

DGAP Divorce Support does not aim to replace much needed professional psychological intervention or trauma counselling. Nor does it aim to replace proper legal council or interfere with divorce mediation processes or litigation. We strongly belief in the value of partnering with professionals who are experts in their fields. Instead of the grieving party having to decide where to go for information/advise, DGAP’s network of professionals work together in helping the individual heal, grow and move forward with intent. The DGAP Divorce Support Mentor assigned to the divorcee becomes the hand holding partner to the parties every next step. Legal Council and Therapy for example work in silos – your DGAP mentor helps you to bring all parts of the process together. Our scope of practice is not to replace the vital role of mental health professionals! We help in identifying where the needs are and referring clients in the right direction.

How is DGAP Divorce Support personalized?

Every person’s story is different and because of this, no recovery program can be a cookie cutter solution. We believe in taking a holistic approach to healing which means that we have to determine, in a client’s own heart, mind, soul, spirit and body, where healing is necessary. Every week, we give a client specific actions to take depending on what that client’s next step should be. Divorce is very overwhelming, and as such our biggest aim is to help clients break it down in actionable steps.

What does DGAP 24/7 Divorce Support entail?

The emotions surrounding divorce is a never-ending rollercoaster ride of anger, bitterness, fear, anxiety, loss and a hundred more. You can feel incredibly elated one moment and incredibly sad the next. Some people don’t have any support structure, as their families are grieving themselves or giving unbiased unhealthy advice or just live to far away. Other clients want to phone their psychologist, social worker or lawyer but these professionals are very busy and charge big fees for time. 24/7 Divorce Support means you have an open-minded trained professional who is more like a friend, who you can contact at any time and keep you accountable. When life gets too much, when you need to make a decision, when you don’t know how to submit your tax returns, when you don’t know where to turn or when you just need to know that it is going to be ok.

What areas of development does Divorce Support look at?

DGAP Divorce Support takes a holistic approach to growth and healing. Our eco system starts from the inside out. Your spirit soul and body are important – we look at your spirit; your spirituality, your spirit tank, your outlets and me time. We look at your body – what are you eating, when are you eating, how are you helping your body to cope with the stress and trauma, are you physically looking and feeling good about yourself and if not what steps will take to get you there. Are you being kind to yourself? What about your soul? Your mental health, your outlets, your coping skills. What does your life look like and where is the areas of improvement? How are you managing your time, your children, your career your financial management? What does your eco system look like on the outside? Are there new partners to deal with? How are you redefining your relationship with your ex-spouse? It is a complete look at where you’ve been, where you are going to and how you are going to get there. From throwing out old photos, to learning new skills, to planning your future career. It’s the process of getting back on your feet, putting the past behind you, and kindly allowing yourself to grief everything you’ve lost. Let us help you start dreaming again.

What if I don’t believe that I need help?

They say, that the first step of healing is the admittance that you need help. You might be riding on a wave of “fight or flight” emotion right now, not even being able to admit that this is a traumatic experience for you. Denial of what we are going through is a coping mechanism for our bodies. What is more, is that anger – a common emotion when dealing with a divorce – will drive us towards a process that might be more harmful than good. Believe us when we say that ALL people going through trauma, needs support. Whether you can admit it to yourself, or not.

Is DGAP Divorce Support only for people going through a divorce?

Absolutely not. The 12-week journey is for anyone who is going through a breakup, divorce, has been dealing with a painful separation or have not really dealt with a divorce or break up in the past. It will even greatly benefit you if you are only in the process of considering divorce as an option for your next step. Maybe you’ve been divorced for years but haven’t taken active steps to redefining yourself and your journey. Maybe you know someone who really needs support and can’t afford it, and you want to give this to them as a gift.

I am not certain whether this program will work for me, can I only do one session?

We will be very happy to meet with you for an introductory session at NO COST to you. We’d love to hear your story and see whether there is synergy between how we can help you and where you want to take your next step. Our first chat and conversations are completely confidential with no obligation. Why don’t you get in contact with us for a cup of coffee?

Does DGAP promote and encourage divorce?

DGAP’s core value system is based on: The freedom of choice, The protection of Family’s, The advocacy of peace. We believe in the empowerment of individuals to live their best lives based on their best choices. We do not by any means encourage or support the breaking up of families and we encourage all parties to reach out to every means available (counselling, couples counselling, Imago Therapy) to restore their relationships and families prior to deciding to separate.