The xxx Children’s Court referred an ex party application made on 19th February 2018 to ……………, for mediation.
- BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Father brought the above application in respect of contact arrangements regarding his daughter
This is a summary of the outcome of the mediation session between Father and Mother, at……………., on 24th March 2018.
This summary is legally privileged. It does not record or create a binding agreement between Mother and Father. It is intended as an interim arrangement between the parties to regularize the contact between Child and Father. Unless and until they decide to enter into a binding agreement, no binding agreement exists between them.
Father and Mother are not married to each other and do not live together. They were involved in a relationship from which their daughter, Child was born. It was agreed that Father is the father of Child, that he has contributed to Child’s care, upbringing and maintenance. Father therefore acquires full parental rights and obligations with regards to Child. Both Father and Mother agreed to enter in mediation to resolve recent issues relating to care and contact.
Child resides with Mother, at her home.
There was a verbal contact agreement between the parties that had broken down. Father wants to re-instate Child’s overnight visits at his home on alternate weekends, and to have unsupervised contact with Child on the particular weekdays when he takes and fetches Child to and from creche/daycare.
This earlier agreement had broken down due to an increased level of anxiety by Mother, and currently Father’s contact with Child was at Mother’s home, generally when Mother was present. Father experienced an atmosphere of conflict during his visits that he felt was detrimental to Child.
Mother told of three incidents that gave rise to her anxiety. On one occasion Father left Child unsupervised in his vehicle when he went for a cycle ride, mistakenly thinking that Mother was/would become aware of the situation. Father had admitted his mistake and had apologized. Mother felt that on one occasion Father had played with Child in a potentially unsafe manner on a trampoline. Father had taken Child for what she (Mother) felt was over-long walk to the garage given the heat of that particular day.
Father and Mother agreed that it would be in the best interests of Child to have regular and unsupervised contact with her father and that they would like to co-operate with each other to achieve this goal. However, at this time Mother’s level of anxiety prevented her from participating in a full access situation without a step by step approach. Mother and Father agreed to a step by step approach, with Father affirming that this should lead towards his full parental rights.
Mother felt that she needed to get to know the family situation at Father’s home that Child was/would be exposed to on her visits there before she was comfortable in “away” arrangements. An initial method to achieve this was to get to know Father’s grown up children (who also resided at Father’s residence) better.
The following proposals were negotiated between Mother and Father.
Continuation of Father taking Child to daycare on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays accompanied by Mother, but with the agreement that the supervision aspect would cease within a three-week period.
Continuation of Father fetching Child from daycare on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with afternoon/evening contact at Mother’s/Child’s home with Mother present in the home. There was agreement that Father would have some unsupervised contact in the home and out thereof on these days, within a three-week period
Prior to the resumption of unsupervised weekend contact Mother agreed to meet with Father’s children to get to know them better. Father would initiate arrangements for this meeting. At this meeting Mother will discuss her anxiety with Child’s siblings and make further arrangements for increased familiarity and confidence building by Mother.
Dated at Cape Town on this day of March ….
Signed by the mediators: