Restore through mediation - Dr. Ilze van der Merwe


This article highlights the main aspects regarding Divorce and Commercial Mediation


What is Family and Divorce Mediation?
It is a process where disagreements or disputes over various issues in the process of divorce are resolved through the mediation of a neutral third party (a Mediator). It takes place in an atmosphere of negotiation towards a solution and mutually beneficial outcome rather than through adversarial means such as litigation (characterised by high conflict and a win/loose situation)

Who would make use of Mediation?
When couples decide to:

  • split up, divorce, re-negotiate an agreement,
  • resolve a dispute regarding a Parenting Plan, or setting up a Parenting Plan
  • negotiate Custody, Access, Maintenance, and/or
  • the division of assets

Why choose Mediation above litigation?

  • You save time and money: the couple and mediator negotiate together in a session, fees can be split between the parties
  • The couple formulates an agreement without the court making decisions on their behalf: they are in more control of planning their future
  • The sessions are without prejudice and confidential
  • The Best Interest of the Children are paramount in Mediation. Mediators are specialists trained to take into account the best interest of the child and assist the parents in formulating a child-focused parenting plan.
  • The process is understandable and both parties are heard & acknowledged
  • Open communication is created (towards positive future co-parenting)

Who is the Mediator?

  • The role of the Mediator is to facilitate discussion and understanding around conflicting issues in order to reach mutually accepted solutions and agreements.
  • The Mediator can provide information pertaining to the Law, Parenting & Financial Issues (When called for there may be a Co-Mediator present to secure high quality specialised mediation)
  • The Mediator is trained and accredited by FAMAC and experienced in various issues of Mediation, Law and Psychology pertaining to children and families. Mediators can be Psychologists and Social Work practitioners trained in the basic principles of Family Law and are often involved in Forensic work regarding care and contact assessments and well versed in the needs and pitfalls of Parenting Plans.

If you are interested in MEDIATION, whereto from here?
Remember that Mediation can only be successful when both parties are willing to participate and commit to attend all the sessions and negotiate toward a solution. Mediation is usually not advised where extreme family violence and power imbalances are concerned.
A 30 minute free informative consultation is offered for you to meet with the Mediator

  •  The Mediator will send you all the needed information and

Biographical forms to complete prior to the session.

  • A Mediation sessions is usually a minimum of 90 minutes in length
  • The Mediation process can take three to six sessions (depending on the level of complexity and quality of participation of each party)
  • Fees are calculated per session and paid prior to the sessions
  • During the Mediation Process a Summary will be drafted
  • After both parties are in agreement of the outcome, the Summary is converted into an Agreement of Settlement by an attorney or through the Family Advocate. This will become an Order of Court
  • It is advisable that each party consult at least once with an attorney to ensure their legal rights have been protected in the agreement.


What is Commercial Mediation?
It is the voluntary process in which a solution to contractual and business disputes or personal disputes between neighbours or even property rights are negotiated by the parties under the guidance of a trained mediator. The aim is to reach a mutually beneficial settlement. This takes place in an atmosphere of negotiation rather than through adversarial means such as litigation.

Why choose Mediation?

  • You save time and money: litigation is often a slow and very expensive process. Mediation strives to achieve a solution within hours.
  • The process of mediation and the solution are confidential and without prejudice.
  • The process is understandable and all parties are heard and acknowledged.
  • Open communication is encouraged and creative solutions examined.
  • The parties retain control of the process and the outcome. Litigation removes this ability and may produce unpredictable results.
  • Mediation solutions are normally win / win situations and may sustain business relationships and improve company productivity and team work.

The role of the Mediator is:

  • To ensure that the agreed process is followed.
  • To remain neutral at all times
  • To summarise the needs and interests of each party in relation to the issues under dispute.
  • To identify common ground between the parties.
  • To ensure that, where an agreement is reached, it is committed to writing and signed by the parties at the conclusion of the mediation.
  • The mediator is a trained professional and well versed in the field of mediation and facilitation (a specialist field where the mediator is knowledgeable in the field of law and in the principles of alternative dispute resolution)

How does this Mediation Process work?

  • The mediator will send you a mediation agreement, this will indicate your willingness to partake in the process and state inter alia the principles of confidentiality, voluntariness and without prejudice,
  • The meeting normally takes place at a neutral venue such as the mediator’s offices.
  • The parties are entitled to be accompanied by their attorneys, if required.
  • Mediation sessions generally last between two to five hours depending on the complexity of the issues.
  • Fees are calculated per hour and can be equally split between the parties.
  • Active participation by all parties is encouraged and monitored to avoid domination by any one party.
  • The meeting may be held jointly with all parties, with confidential side – meetings with individual parties at the discretion of the mediator.
  • At the successful conclusion of the solution, an agreement will be drawn up for signature by the parties.

Who to approach if you are interested in following this process?

Van der Merwe, Parker and Associates
Specialists in Divorce Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Divorce Mediation:
Contact Dr. Ilze van der Merwe (FAMAC Member in Divorce and Family Mediation and Divorce Facilitator) to book a session.
Commercial Mediation
Contact: Mr Bill Parker (CEDR Accredited Commercial Mediator) to book a session.

We are located in Table View
(021) 557 7547 (Office)
083 391 3376(Mobile) or 082 490 5292
(Office hrs 9h00-17h00)
(Session hrs: 9h00-19h00)
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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