Family Mediation


Mediation involves introducing a neutral third party into a dispute, to create a safe space within which parties are able to explore possible solutions to bring about a negotiated agreement acceptable to both.  It is a space where the parties are able to communicate their frustrations, insecurities, concerns, needs, dissatisfactions, wishes and desires. Hence mediation is a quick and comparatively inexpensive process.


The facilitative approach is frequently used in family and divorce mediation. The mediator guides the discussion and negotiations, without attempting to impose his or her will on the parties with regard to the content of the settlement agreement. The parties remain entirely responsible for the decisions reached, with the mediator merely keeping the negotiations and communication open. This approach involves helping the parties to identify issues they have in common and issues they are disputing. After giving the parties legal information, the mediator should guide them towards reaching an agreement, without intimidating or influencing them.  The facilitative approach includes assisting parties to communicate with each other, not only in respect of the children but also between themselves, and to develop a new manner of interaction – without being in a therapy environment. The professional is not interested in analysing or counselling the couple, but rather in mediating the dispute by alerting both parties to their challenges by by dissipating their anger towards each other, and by identifying  unproductive patterns of communication.

In transformative mediation, the mediator works with the parties to help them change the quality of their conflict interaction – from negative and destructive to positive and constructive – as they discuss possibilities for resolution.  Settlement is secondary to the healing of relationships and is merely a welcome by-product of the process. This style of mediation is valuable where conflict has been ongoing and intractable for a long time.   The legal effects of the solution to a family dispute can leave parties feeling disempowered, perhaps even emotionally scarred, for many years to come.  Therefore, mediation, specifically transformative mediation at the time of entering into the agreement (or even during and after the divorce or separation) might bring about dramatic emotional healing.


​​Mediation minimises the hurt to children and families going through a divorce, by giving parents a chance to settle their differences with the help of a third party who is neutral.  Mediation allows divorcing parties greater control over the consequences of their divorce.  Research has shown that upon divorce, mediated settlement agreements include far more advantageous provisions regarding the interests of children, compared with agreements or orders made in terms of the adversarial system.

    1. Because parties are able to make decisions regarded as fair and right within their particular cultural and moral frame of reference, they are more likely to honour these mediated agreements.
    2. Mediation spares divorcing couples the experience  of contentious courtroom battles. In the most successful cases, mediation also provides  couples with a method for resolving possible future conflicts.
    3. Mediation is associated with better co-parenting of the children post-divorce.
    4. Mediation improves communication between divorcing parties. Constructive communication in turn improves the level of cooperation between the parties during the divorce process and the period thereafter.
    5. Unlike litigation, mediation is not restricted solely to legal issues, and allows the parties to deal with many facets of divorce.


​Divorce and Family mediation

  • Multi-generational mediation
  • Workplace mediation
  • School mediation


All the mediators at Partners on Panorama – Family Professionals, have postgraduate degrees and are accredited by SAAM.

​The model followed by the mediators at Partners on Panorama – Family Professionals allows for an individual consultation with each party at the onset of the process to:

  • provide information about the legal processes of divorce
  • establish the ground rules framing the boundaries of mediation
  • allow the parties to detail their stories 
  • identify concerns and topics
  • clarify and detail respective interests and objectives
  • search for objective criteria
  • identify options

The initial individual consultations are followed by (90 minutes) joint mediation sessions.  During 4-6 mediation sessions, the concerns, topics, interest and objectives are discussed and solutions, as well as possible agreements, analysed. After proposed solutions and agreements are refined, same will be recorded in written agreements called a Settlement Agreement and a Parenting Plan.


​Partners-on-Panorama Family Professionals adheres to Section 6(5) and 10 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 which directs that with due regard to the age, maturity and stage of development of a child, every child must be informed, consulted and given the freedom to participate in the decisions relating to the care and contact of the minor child, and all other decisions relating to the child.


Partners on Panorama Family Professionals offers the services of an in-house legal team that can assist the parties with finalising the divorce matter at court.