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The Centre of Independence

Divorce Mediation, Legal Advisors & Lay Counsellors
Centurion, Pretoria
Telephone: 012 654 5062
Mobile Number: 072 597 4396 / 082 2595 888
128 Springbok Street, Centurion, South Africa, Gauteng

We provide mediation services to couples, spouses, families, co-parents and divorcing couples to assist them to resolve their issues of contention, develop workable solutions and reach an agreement which serves the highest good of all parties involved.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a private and confidential process whereby the parties to a dispute voluntarily meet with a trained neutral person, known as a mediator.

Mediation is essentially a negotiation facilitated by a trained mediator which follows a step-by-step approach to gather information, balance communication, generate options and once all the parties have been heard, to negotiate a mutually agreeable resolution.

The role of the mediator is to facilitate and manage the process by encouraging discussion, providing the parties with information regarding their legal rights and responsibilities, generate options and thus providing the parties with a greater understanding to enable them to make informed decisions and to reach resolutions which are both fair and reasonable.

Mediation is a great alternative to litigation where instead of a court making the decision which normally results in one party winning and one party losing, mediation empowers the parties to generate options which suit them and allows the parties to tailor make their own amicable resolutions.

How does mediation work?

Mediation is an exercise in diplomacy. The goal is to define the areas of both agreement and disagreement and then to assist the parties to amicably resolve as many areas of disagreement as possible.

Mediation is a voluntary process and the mediator is not a judge. The mediator will not make decisions for you nor force you to agree to anything.

We offer both co-mediation and single mediation, depending on the needs of the parties. Co-mediation means that there are two mediators who work as a team throughout the mediation process. One of the mediators will be legally trained and the other will be from the mental health profession (for example a social worker, counselor or a psychologist).

Where there are children involved, the Children's Act requires that parents make a genuine effort to resolve the disputes in relation to the children and that the voices of the children are heard and taken into consideration during this process. It is in light of this that we follow a child focused and child inclusive mediation process, which provides the child with an opportunity to tell their story and express their views in a safe, confidential environment. This can assist parents to better understand how their child is coping with the divorce/separation and parental conflict-views that may not be expressed in the confines of the family dynamic. If the matter is appropriate for child inclusive mediation, the child will then be interviewed by an appropriately trained individual. Subsequently, parents will be given feedback from the child interviewer for the purpose of facilitating on-going parenting devoid of conflict or dispute.

Although every mediation is unique, all mediations follow a structured process. The mediation sessions are held at our offices and the couple/parties will generally attend the sessions together except in high conflict situations and where the mediator is of the opinion that the parties are better served attending separate sessions.

Each session is between 60 - 90 minutes and the mediation process can take anywhere from three to eight sessions to complete.

The number of sessions required varies from couple to couple and depends on the number of issues to be resolved, the level of their complexity and the parties' commitment.

Every party to the mediation will receive the minutes of each session.

The decisions reached in mediation are recorded in a "without prejudice" document known as a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U.). The M.O.U. is not legally binding until it has been converted into and Agreement of Settlement and signed by the parties.

What are the benefits of mediation as an alternative to court litigation?

Issue Litigation Mediation Benefits of mediation
Time Lengthy Short Avoids delays; participants can get on with their lives;
Cost Costly Relatively
Inexpensive
Higher satisfaction; less financial stress
Confidentiality Public records Confidential Avoids negative publicity
Decision-making Left to the court In the hands of participants Greater commitment to follow-through; greater sense of "fairness" by participants;
Communication By attorneys By the parties Clarity; may improve long-term relationship
Agenda Set by the court Set by the parties Participants feel greater sense of control
Emotions Often ignored Considered Greater satisfaction with result
Control By attorneys and the court By the parties Participant may end mediation at any time; participants feel empowered
Compliance Unknown High Less chance of re-litigation

 

Who should attend?

  • Couples who have decided to get divorced
  • Couples who are divorced but need to renegotiate issues
  • Couples who are/have lived together
  • Couples who have children together
  • Family members who are in conflict

Is mediation confidential?

The mediator is bound by professional ethics to provide an impartial and professional service. Mediators treat all discussions as strictly confidential except where they believe someone's life or welfare to be in danger. If this becomes apparent, the mediator will address this with the parties and discuss any action which is to be taken with the parties.

No party to mediation may use the information discussed or disclosed in the mediation during court proceedings unless this intention has been recorded in the Memorandum of Understanding, which has been converted into a Settlement Agreement and signed by both parties.

Mediation Services

  • Divorce Mediation
  • Post Divorce Mediation
  • Couples Mediation
  • Family Mediation
  • Co-Parent Mediation
  • Parenting Plans
  • Maintenance

Mediators

We have a qualified and professional team of mediators. Our mediators either have legal training or are from the mental health profession (i.e. social workers, counselors or psychologists) all of whom have completed a mediation training course with a focus on divorce and family mediation.

Our mediators either mediate individually or in co-mediation teams, depending on the needs of our clients. When mediating in co-mediation teams, one mediator will have legal training and the other will be from the mental health profession.

Director and Mediator

Lyndsey Sussens (Teunissen)

Qualifications:

  • LL.B (University of South Africa)
  • Certificate in Family Mediation (University or Pretoria)
  • A Certificate in Basic Counseling (Family Life Centre)
  • Completed Psychology for Lawyers (Institute of Family Mediators)

Professional Associations:

  • Law Society of the Northern Provinces
  • Member of the South African Association of Mediators
  • Accredited mediator (South African Association of Mediators)
  • Mediator at Family Life Centre

A personal note from Lyndsey

I am a family law attorney in private practice and an experienced Family and Divorce Mediator in Johannesburg. I have a special interest in assisting couples, spouses, families, co-parents and divorcing couples to resolve their issues of contention, develop workable solutions and reach an agreement which serves the highest good of all parties involved. It is this interest and my passion for mediation which lead me to start The Centre of Independence.

The extensive experience which I have obtained in family law matters has highlighted the advantages of mediation over litigation. It is this realisation that drives me to ensure that our clients enjoy the numerous benefits of this alternate course of action in family law matters.

Mediation is not only less costly and speedier than litigation, it is also a less emotionally traumatic process for all the parties involved especially the children. I firmly believe that parties who have been through mediation rather than litigation are far more likely to have the ability to communicate with each other after the process is finalized.

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The Centre of Independence

Divorce Mediation, Legal Advisors & Lay Counsellors
Centurion, Pretoria
Telephone: 012 654 5062
Mobile Number: 072 597 4396 / 082 2595 888
128 Springbok Street, Centurion, South Africa, Gauteng

We provide mediation services to couples, spouses, families, co-parents and divorcing couples to assist them to resolve their issues of contention, develop workable solutions and reach an agreement which serves the highest good of all parties involved.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a private and confidential process whereby the parties to a dispute voluntarily meet with a trained neutral person, known as a mediator.

Mediation is essentially a negotiation facilitated by a trained mediator which follows a step-by-step approach to gather information, balance communication, generate options and once all the parties have been heard, to negotiate a mutually agreeable resolution.

The role of the mediator is to facilitate and manage the process by encouraging discussion, providing the parties with information regarding their legal rights and responsibilities, generate options and thus providing the parties with a greater understanding to enable them to make informed decisions and to reach resolutions which are both fair and reasonable.

Mediation is a great alternative to litigation where instead of a court making the decision which normally results in one party winning and one party losing, mediation empowers the parties to generate options which suit them and allows the parties to tailor make their own amicable resolutions.

How does mediation work?

Mediation is an exercise in diplomacy. The goal is to define the areas of both agreement and disagreement and then to assist the parties to amicably resolve as many areas of disagreement as possible.

Mediation is a voluntary process and the mediator is not a judge. The mediator will not make decisions for you nor force you to agree to anything.

We offer both co-mediation and single mediation, depending on the needs of the parties. Co-mediation means that there are two mediators who work as a team throughout the mediation process. One of the mediators will be legally trained and the other will be from the mental health profession (for example a social worker, counselor or a psychologist).

Where there are children involved, the Children's Act requires that parents make a genuine effort to resolve the disputes in relation to the children and that the voices of the children are heard and taken into consideration during this process. It is in light of this that we follow a child focused and child inclusive mediation process, which provides the child with an opportunity to tell their story and express their views in a safe, confidential environment. This can assist parents to better understand how their child is coping with the divorce/separation and parental conflict-views that may not be expressed in the confines of the family dynamic. If the matter is appropriate for child inclusive mediation, the child will then be interviewed by an appropriately trained individual. Subsequently, parents will be given feedback from the child interviewer for the purpose of facilitating on-going parenting devoid of conflict or dispute.

Although every mediation is unique, all mediations follow a structured process. The mediation sessions are held at our offices and the couple/parties will generally attend the sessions together except in high conflict situations and where the mediator is of the opinion that the parties are better served attending separate sessions.

Each session is between 60 - 90 minutes and the mediation process can take anywhere from three to eight sessions to complete.

The number of sessions required varies from couple to couple and depends on the number of issues to be resolved, the level of their complexity and the parties' commitment.

Every party to the mediation will receive the minutes of each session.

The decisions reached in mediation are recorded in a "without prejudice" document known as a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U.). The M.O.U. is not legally binding until it has been converted into and Agreement of Settlement and signed by the parties.

What are the benefits of mediation as an alternative to court litigation?

Issue Litigation Mediation Benefits of mediation
Time Lengthy Short Avoids delays; participants can get on with their lives;
Cost Costly Relatively
Inexpensive
Higher satisfaction; less financial stress
Confidentiality Public records Confidential Avoids negative publicity
Decision-making Left to the court In the hands of participants Greater commitment to follow-through; greater sense of "fairness" by participants;
Communication By attorneys By the parties Clarity; may improve long-term relationship
Agenda Set by the court Set by the parties Participants feel greater sense of control
Emotions Often ignored Considered Greater satisfaction with result
Control By attorneys and the court By the parties Participant may end mediation at any time; participants feel empowered
Compliance Unknown High Less chance of re-litigation

 

Who should attend?

  • Couples who have decided to get divorced
  • Couples who are divorced but need to renegotiate issues
  • Couples who are/have lived together
  • Couples who have children together
  • Family members who are in conflict

Is mediation confidential?

The mediator is bound by professional ethics to provide an impartial and professional service. Mediators treat all discussions as strictly confidential except where they believe someone's life or welfare to be in danger. If this becomes apparent, the mediator will address this with the parties and discuss any action which is to be taken with the parties.

No party to mediation may use the information discussed or disclosed in the mediation during court proceedings unless this intention has been recorded in the Memorandum of Understanding, which has been converted into a Settlement Agreement and signed by both parties.

Mediation Services

  • Divorce Mediation
  • Post Divorce Mediation
  • Couples Mediation
  • Family Mediation
  • Co-Parent Mediation
  • Parenting Plans
  • Maintenance

Mediators

We have a qualified and professional team of mediators. Our mediators either have legal training or are from the mental health profession (i.e. social workers, counselors or psychologists) all of whom have completed a mediation training course with a focus on divorce and family mediation.

Our mediators either mediate individually or in co-mediation teams, depending on the needs of our clients. When mediating in co-mediation teams, one mediator will have legal training and the other will be from the mental health profession.

Director and Mediator

Lyndsey Sussens (Teunissen)

Qualifications:

  • LL.B (University of South Africa)
  • Certificate in Family Mediation (University or Pretoria)
  • A Certificate in Basic Counseling (Family Life Centre)
  • Completed Psychology for Lawyers (Institute of Family Mediators)

Professional Associations:

  • Law Society of the Northern Provinces
  • Member of the South African Association of Mediators
  • Accredited mediator (South African Association of Mediators)
  • Mediator at Family Life Centre

A personal note from Lyndsey

I am a family law attorney in private practice and an experienced Family and Divorce Mediator in Johannesburg. I have a special interest in assisting couples, spouses, families, co-parents and divorcing couples to resolve their issues of contention, develop workable solutions and reach an agreement which serves the highest good of all parties involved. It is this interest and my passion for mediation which lead me to start The Centre of Independence.

The extensive experience which I have obtained in family law matters has highlighted the advantages of mediation over litigation. It is this realisation that drives me to ensure that our clients enjoy the numerous benefits of this alternate course of action in family law matters.

Mediation is not only less costly and speedier than litigation, it is also a less emotionally traumatic process for all the parties involved especially the children. I firmly believe that parties who have been through mediation rather than litigation are far more likely to have the ability to communicate with each other after the process is finalized.

Categories List:

Send message to moderator