Mediation is a required step in many Iowa cases. You are required to attend at least one mediation session and to put a good-faith effort into resolving your issues before you can let a judge decide. Many parties prefer mediation because it allows them to be the decision-makers.
Divorce or separation of parents is the end of a marriage, not the end of parenting. It restructures a family from one household to two.
Children’s successful adjustment to divorce or separation often depends on the children’s safety, the level of cooperation between the parents, and the continued involvement of both parents in the lives of their children(unless safety is an issue).
In mediation a trained mediator helps you talk and listen to each other about what is important to you so you can have a useful conversation and, if possible, make your own decisions. A mediator is neutral and does not take sides. Mediators do not give you specific recommendations or legal advice.
Kathryn Davis is a trained mediator who can help you resolve your case before you go to the judge. Kathryn cannot be both your attorney and your mediator. If you need to complete mediation and are worried about costs, reach out to Kathryn about payment options and to determine whether you qualify for low-income services.
Mediation is not a substitute for legal advice.
Decide what you want from mediation: Do you want a mediator who will evaluate your case and steer you towards an agreement s/he thinks is best? Or, do you want a mediator who will help you communicate and make your own decisions?
Mediators have different styles and philosophies. Choose the kind of mediator that works best for you. Make a list of mediator names. Check the mediator roster at mediateiowa.org. It has important information about each mediator: their experience, training, fees, etc.
• Ask your friends & your attorney what mediators they recommend.
• Talk with some mediators.
• Call some mediators and ask how they see their role.
Which mediators sound like some-one you could work with and trust? Choose a mediator that is acceptable to both of you. Remember: Mediation is confidential. Mediators do not tell the court what happened in mediation, do not make recommendations to the court, and cannot be a witness if you go to trial.
If you've been court-ordered to attend mediation and believe you may qualify for a waiver, contact Kathryn about figuring out your options.
When you have children, there many things to consider when divorcing or separting, including: