What is mediation?


Mediation is a process where a neutral and skilled
mediator can assist families who are in conflict to
work out arrangements for themselves and their
children. Mediation is a voluntary process that can
help two sides to reach an acceptable solution to
their differences. A mediator can help the parties to
examine ideas and options in a neutral, safe
environment where they are both free to express
their opinions. Lawson Legal treats the mediation
as confidential and does not provide information to
any third party, except where the parties expressly
agree to this (such as sending summaries to your
respective attorneys, if they have not taken part in
the mediation).

What is litigation?


Litigation is the process of taking a dispute to a
court of law. This process is complicated and
formal, involving a series of technical steps in
terms of the prescribed rules of the court. The
parties are dependent on the experience of their
legal representatives and the court’s interpretation
of the facts of their case and the law, thereby
placing the outcome of their case in the hands of
other persons. The alternative to litigation in family
matters is conciliation, mediation and facilitation.

Why choose mediation over litigation?
 It costs less
The average cost of a litigated maintenance matter
(increase/ arrear maintenance) can easily be more
than R30 000 and the average cost of a mediated
matter is usually less than R4 500.
When both spouses use one mediator they can
share the cost. If they decide to mediate the
dispute, they can expect to save more than 75%
on legal costs. Should they choose to appoint an
attorney, his or her fees should be discussed at
the first consultation to avoid any later surprises.
Litigation can easily trigger increased conflict,
resulting in increased legal costs. A mediated
divorce is typically settled in 6 hours or less.
For those who cannot find settlement through
mediation, traditional legal intervention through
divorce attorneys is always available as the next
step.

 Control over decisions
Would you prefer to make you own decision
regarding your family, or would you rather let
someone else decide on your behalf? When a
family dispute goes to trial, the court will decide
what is best for you and your family. You will then
have to abide by the court’s decision. A better
approach is to sit with your ex-partner and a Family
Justice mediator and spend as much time as is
needed to agree on the issues at hand. According
to statistics, mediation takes 95% less time than
court proceedings.


 Most cases settle
Did you know that most lawsuits settle on the
doorsteps of the court? Why then not mediate your
case from the outset? When the case is settled
through mediation, the agreement can still be made
an order of court.

 More enduring agreements
When “solutions” are imposed on people, they are
more likely to resist them. A court may order
certain specific conditions (such as a child
visitation schedule) in a litigated divorce. This may
cause one of the parties to comply reluctantly,
leading to on-going strife, friction, and misery.

People who work together voluntarily to create a
shared, mutually beneficial plan have a vested
interest in the success of the plan. There is a
much higher likelihood of the parties abiding by
such a mutual agreement and having less conflict
in the future.


 Easier
Mediation is the easier way. Less court. More
control. Less stress. Lower costs.

 Less stress
Compared to litigation, mediation is much less
stressful. Lawson Legal mediators insist that the
parties communicate in a respectful and nonthreatening
manner. The process is easier and less
formal than traditional litigation.


 Neutral perspective
A Lawson Legal mediator is strictly neutral and
impartial; he or she does not act for either party.
The mediator asks the tough questions and steadily
moves the process towards understanding and
settlement. Mediation is strictly confidential and
nothing that you say can be used against you in
future.


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