Mediation in Family & Divorce Disputes
 

Mediation in Family & Divorce Disputes

SKU 978-1-920025-56-4

Mediation in Family & Divorce Disputes is intended as a handbook for mediators and clients who are involved with family and divorce disputes. It distills 20 years’ of priceless experience into a succinct and lucid handbook that will be invaluable to attorneys, mediators, social workers, pastors, psychologists and parties to disputes, helping clients to decide whether they would like to try to resolve their dispute through mediation and professionals to reflect on the fundamental principles and practical applications of their work.

The goal of mediation is to enable clients to negotiate an effective settlement of their dispute, rather than necessarily reconciling – although occasionally that is a result of mediation. In a real sense mediation coaches clients to negotiate effectively. It is about helping clients to negotiate mutually acceptable, realistic and legal settlements of their disputes.

  • Author: John O'Leary
  • Title: Mediation in Family & Divorce Disputes
  • ISBN: 978-1-920025-56-4
  • Publication Date: 2014/03/01
  • Publishing House: Siber Ink
  • Target Market Lawyers, Mediators, Family Court representatives, Counsellors, Social Workers, Pastors and Psychologists, parties to family or divorce disputes.
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Although the book is written in a South African context, the principles will apply and be of interest beyond South Africa and to all mediators and clients in mediation whether their primary focus is on family disputes or not.

For mediators the book sets out to provide practical and theoretical guidelines for their work. The practice tips, further reading suggestions and references serve as an introduction to some of the work of leading mediators in the field for those readers who would like to develop a deeper understanding of the process.The book is also designed to be of use to those who have recently been trained as mediators or will soon be trained, as it complements the material usually presented in such training.

For clients it explains what they can expect in the mediation process, tips as to what to look for in a mediator and what they can do to prepare for their mediation in order to get the most out of the process. 

"John O’Leary is to be congratulated on writing a splendid handbook on the practice and law relating to family mediation in South Africa. It is well-informed, concise and eminently readable – and he is not afraid to touch on thorny issues such as having separate confidential meetings in family matters, and involving parties’ attorneys in the process where applicable. I really like what he has written.” 
Henry Brown, PIM Senior Mediator Emeritus

“Congratulations on a job well done in excellent English, dealing with the subject matter in a logical, clear and digestible manner! And yes, thank you very much for having done so well what has been lacking and long overdue!”
Carlo Loubser, attorney

The book covers mediation in three parts:

Part 1 of the book starts by looking at introductory issues: the question of defining mediation, followed by some comments on preparation for mediation. Then the focus shifts to the question of who mediates, and the qualities of an effective mediator.

Part 2 has chapters dealing with the mediation tool box, a problem-solving model for mediators, and the techniques mediators use. Particular attention is given to dealing with power imbalances and what mediators do when the process gets stuck, as often happens.

Part 3 deals with the wider context: the regulatory framework and related processes such as post-divorce facilitation and collaborative law.

Although the focus in this book is on family and divorce mediation, it should be clear by the end of the book that the skills and techniques are generic and portable to other types of dispute. In particular, the process is not only applicable to divorce mediation but to any family dispute whether there is a divorce involved or not. Disputes about wills, education, health care and maintenance are just some examples of areas where mediation can help without there necessarily being a divorce involved.

About the Author

John O’Leary obtained an MA at UCT, and an LLB degree through UNISA and has been in practice as an attorney and mediator in Cape Town since 1993. He has a special interest in conflict resolution and mediation, particularly in commercial, family and labour disputes. He is accredited as a mediator by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR UK), and is a panellist for various South African service providers.

He is also a member of the Family Mediators’ Association of the Cape (FAMAC) and has served on the National Accreditation Board for Family Mediators (NABFAM) and currently serves on the provincial and national Law Society standing committees on Alternate Dispute Resolution. He regularly trains mediators from a variety of professional backgrounds.