Developing guidelines for professionals to facilitate the best interests of the child during the divorce mediation process
The purpose of the study was to contribute to the improvement of the mediation process and in the process facilitate a better dispensation for children in divorce and a more child-orientated practice. The main aim of this study was to develop substantive guidelines for professionals involved in the divorce mediation process to enable them to apply the best interests of the child principle during the divorce mediation process, as well as the development of parenting plans. The study was conducted within an interpretivist paradigm and a qualitative, descriptive and interpretive design was applied in the study. Data was collected in two consecutive phases. In phase 1, a content analysis of 20 documents, including reports, parenting plans and court orders was conducted. In phase 2, individual interviews were conducted with 12 participants, including lawyers, psychologists and social workers with extensive experience in the field of divorce mediation. The findings from each of these phases were integrated to develop guidelines from a psychological perspective to assist professionals involved in the divorce mediation process in the South African context to adhere to the specifications and ethical standards for parenting plans and to ensure that the best interests of the children involved are served at all times.
- Humanities