Matrimonial disputes

A real case study from Elmarie Neilson’s files: A couple separated and the wife moved out of the house with the children. Without having previously been involved in litigation, they unwittingly each chose a very aggressive, litigious attorney. This escalated the conflict.

Two years and hundreds of thousands of rands in legal fees later, they were no nearer to getting divorced. The wife heard of mediation and contacted us.

The first mediation session was very difficult, as the couple had not spoken to each other for 18 months and tensions ran high. Little progress was made, but the prospect of spending another two hundred thousand rand on legal fees was too daunting, so they booked another mediation session.

At the next mediation session the whole divorce was settled within an hour and every issue was resolved. As a bonus, the parties started talking to each other again.

This is the aim of divorce mediation – to find an amicable solution that all parties can live with as opposed to a court case that can destroy many relationships and is very costly. However, any matrimonial dispute that is not serious enough to cause divorce can be mediated.

We have even mediated between parents and teenage children who were not able to communicate with each other.