Okay, so if you are and your spouse are struggling to agree on a parenting plan, you can seek help from a mediator or facilitator or the Family Advocate. These people can assess what parenting plan would best suit your family. This can be very useful in a high-conflict situation. Doing this will also require both parents to be available for psychological evaluation, and both parents must be open to following recommendations made in the best interests of the child.
Mediators and facilitators can be very expensive, so if you’re not in a position to pay this extra cost, the Family Advocate is a South African institution set up to look after the needs of underaged or dependent children in civil-legal disputes.
The reports and recommendations made by the Family Advocate will assist the courts in deciding what is in the child’s best interests. The Family Advocate cannot get involved in any case that has already been finalised in court. It is a fair, unbiased way to go about deciding what will best suit your children moving forward. Once you’ve agreed on a parenting plan, parents can either lodge it with the Family Advocate, or make it an order of the court. Once a plan is made an order of the court, you’ve got to stick to it.
Agreeing to a simple and fair parenting plan between yourselves is truly the best way to go about co-parenting. It’s less complicated and will keep you both in complete control of your children. It’s also less invasive for both the child and the parents. Different divorces require different routes to be taken. Get it into your head: Always think of what is best for the child before anything else.