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The P-Word: Divorce mediation puts best interests of the child first

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Getting a divorce, especially if there are children involved, can be complicated and involve a lot of conflict. However, with the right mediator it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.

On the P-Word podcast this week, host Rushka Lee Pedro speaks to Amy Bernard-Marx, an attorney, notary and an accredited family law mediator.

A qualified mediator since 2014, she opened her mediation practice called Marx and Bernard Mediation in 2021 with the hopes of saving people time and money when seeking a divorce, maintenance agreements and parenting plans.

A mediator is an impartial third party who facilitates an agreement between the parties and attempts to teach the parties how to deal with future conflict.

Couples looking to get divorced often look to mediation because the costs of litigation are extremely high.

“Mediation is actually a very healthy process for people to go through. And for the children’s sake, drafting up a parenting plan, and having a parenting plan is something that attorneys often don’t do and overlook,” said Bernard-Marx.

As an attorney, she has done over 700 divorces, and with her experience she has created helpful resources for couples looking to get divorced.

“I do a lot of content on my TikTok about how to get divorced on your own. I also have people email me, where they receive a free pack of basically all the pleadings that they need to do to start their own divorce and all the payments. It’s free of charge. It’s a gift to South Africans who really need to get out of a bad relationship.”

In her experience, Bernard-Marx says that the main difference between an attorney and a mediator is that a mediator’s main focus is the well-being of the children, and representing the children’s best interests. Whereas an attorney represents their client.

“My style of mediation is very party-based, I look at what the parties want. So I give them a lot of homework, a lot of preparation, before they even come and speak. They come with their plea and the summons that are written down and what they think is there to get from the divorce. We deal with assets and liabilities first, and then children deal with the most important part last.”

 

@legalames #onlinelawyer #legallyblonde #southafricatiktok #lawtok #divorcecoach #divorce ♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) – 山口夕依

Written by: Kelly-Jane Turner

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