Mediation is process of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), whereby mutually agreeable solutions are found by utilising the services of an impartial, qualified and registered third party intervenes to negotiate a legally binding, out-of-court settlement. Christopher Moore defines mediation as “The intervention in a negotiation or conflict of an acceptable third party who has limited or no authoritative decision making power, but who assists the involved parties in voluntarily reaching a mutually acceptable settlement”.
Qualities required from a good professional mediator are that they are confidential honest brokers, impartial, take cognisance of the law and normative frameworks and are well prepared.
By participating in mediation you do so Without Prejudice to your Rights which means that you are not giving up any of your rights.
As an alternative to litigation (going to court), mediation offers a solution that will be faster than litigation, which can take months or even years to resolve and is the most expensive option. The financial savings and the limitation of the emotional trauma that is the cost of litigation are great.
In many Family Law disputes, legislation either requires or encourages parties to mediate, rather than litigate. If no settlement can be reached the parties will continue to litigate, however, in most cases this will not occur and once a settlement is reached, the settlement can be made an order of Court.
ABOUT THE MEDIATOR
Karen J Spurrier, Ph.D.
Social Worker, Mediator & Parenting Co-ordinator
After a long career in communications, public relations and journalism, during which she owned both a public relations consultancy and an industry publication, Dr Karen Spurrier, Ph.D. qualified as a social worker in 2004 with a BA (Hons). Two years later she completed her Masters degree in Social Science with a thesis titled; ‘The effect of the experience of incarceration on a prison inmate’, and a diploma in Logotherapy. Following that and a number of years of practise, she attained her Ph.D. with a thesis titled, ‘A multi-perspective report on the status of the knowledge of and response to commercial sexual exploitation of children with a specific focus on child prostitution and child sex tourism’.
She is a practising counselling social worker in private practice. In the past 20 years she has dealt with counselling on a range of topics including childhood and adult trauma, parenting and supervised child access, life adjustment, divorce recovery, depression and anxiety and many other issues.
She now adds a professional family law mediation service to that portfolio. She is accredited with both ADR International and the South African Association of Mediators (SAAM). To read more about the services she offers please have a look around the site.