The philosophy of the KwaZulu-Natal Society of Mediators is "Don't Separate With Anxiety". People have to deal with other people on a daily basis and if there are constant disputes, day-to-day working or living can become very unpleasant. In the modern world where legal costs are high and the process is long and drawn out, alternate forms of dispute resolution are becoming more and more popular. What better way to resolve a dispute than to be able to come to a conclusion together rather than being dictated to by an outside party. That is what mediation can provide.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process where parties involve a neutral person to help them to come to an agreement or settlement of a dispute between them.
What are the necessary qualifications?
There are no particular qualifications, however all members of the KwaZulu Natal Mediation Society have attended a Law Society supported course in mediation. All of our members are practising attorneys.
In certain matters such as those involving children, an attorney has to have at least 5 years experience in divorce matters, “or other suitable qualification” in order to be able to mediate. In these cases a psychologist or the Family Advocate's Office may also be utilized.
It is always advisable that the mediator has experience in the particular area that the dispute is based on.
What types of disputes can be Mediated?
Most disputes can be mediated as it involves coming to a conclusion that is suitable to both parties rather than one that is fought out and a decision made by a person who is not directly involved in the dispute.
Some examples of disputes that can be mediated are:
" Family and divorce disputes
" Labour disputes
" Neighbour disputes
" Property disputes
" Estate disputes
" Commercial disputes
" Criminal disputes
" Tax disputes
Matters which require compulsory mediation
Mediation is being favoured more and more by our courts. At present mediation is only compulsory with regards to a parenting plan or child-related disputes.
How do i find a mediator?
Mediators either practise on their own or are part of a society such as the KwaZulu-Natal Society of Mediators. On our website you can find the details of a mediator in your area.
Mediation is more cost effective and more expedient than a court battle. The outcome is decided by the people directly involved in the matter rather than being ruled on by someone on the outside. It is less adversarial, less stressful and is a flexible forum rather than one prescribed by rules and time limits.
The exact costs will vary depending on the experience of the mediator. You will pay an hourly rate.
How binding are mediation settlements?
The mediator does not make the decision - the parties do. As a result the agreement, once signed, can be made an order of court and will be binding between the parties.