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|Family law practitioners, take note: mediation will soon become mandatory in all family disputes|
First things first, you don’t need any additional accreditation to practice as mediator. If you are a practicing legal practitioner (attorney or advocate), you’re qualified to litigate or to mediate, as an alternative.
It is increasingly accepted that the traditional adversarial system of litigation, which works well in most other fields of our law, is not well suited to resolving divorce cases and other family disputes. More specifically, the adversarial system aggravates the risk factors of divorce for children.
In fact, the advantages of mediation in family matters are highly praised worldwide.
Therefore, as a family law practitioner, you will have to make the paradigm shift to broaden and restructure your family law practice to include rendering divorce and family mediation services to your clients.
Mediation is already mandatory in parenting issues in terms of the Children’s Act and encouraged in all civil matters in terms of the court-annexed mediation rules of the Magistrates’ Courts and the High Courts, and will soon become mandatory in all family matters in terms of the SA Law Reform Commission’s Family Dispute Resolution Bill.
1. The pitfalls of the adversarial system of litigation and how they contribute to making the worst of a delicate situation
2. The definition and features of mediation and how the process contributes to making the best of a delicate situation
3. The legal provision for family mediation in South Africa
4. The different forms of mediation and how mediation as an interest-based problem-solving approach differs from lawyer negotiation as a positional-based approach
5. The various stages of the mediation process to provide you with the basic tools to navigate this alternative dispute resolution process
6. A brief introduction to other appropriate alternative dispute resolution processes in which you can engage upon or after divorce or family breakdown
Make family disputes better for all who are involved by including family mediation in the professional services you offer.