WHEN DIS­PUTES ARISE

Your Baby & Toddler - - Features -

Lit­i­ga­tion (or time in courts) is a costly busi­ness. Where pos­si­ble, there­fore, try to set­tle any dis­putes that may arise with the other par­ent. Cathy ad­vises that par­ents should try to co-op­er­ate as far as is rea­son­ably pos­si­ble. “When par­ents play games with lit­i­ga­tion, it leads to ma­jor prob­lems,“she says. Should you be un­able to reach an agree­ment with your child’s other par­ent, agree to at least see a fa­cil­i­ta­tor or me­di­a­tor who will guide and fa­cil­i­tate you to­ward an agree­ment. Al­though this op­tion may be also be ex­pen­sive, it may cost you much less than lit­i­ga­tion and will of­ten lead to a much quicker outcome. Should you be un­happy with the outcome of a fa­cil­i­ta­tion process, you are still able to ap­ply to court for ap­pro­pri­ate re­lief.

Pro­fes­sional fa­cil­i­ta­tion bod­ies ex­ist across South Africa. In the Western Cape, for in­stance, the Fam­ily Me­di­a­tors’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Cape (www.famac.co.za, 021 801 6176) pro­vides fa­cil­i­ta­tion and me­di­a­tion ser­vices. Their mem­bers con­sist of at­tor­neys, ad­vo­cates, psy­chol­o­gists and so­cial work­ers who have ex­pe­ri­ence in a va­ri­ety of fam­ily law mat­ters. The South African As­so­ci­a­tion of Me­di­a­tors (www.saam.org.za, 086 719 1811) can pro­vide de­tails of me­di­a­tors and fa­cil­i­ta­tors in Gaut­eng.

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