West Des Moines Attorneys Provide Effective Divorce Mediation Services
Saving you time, money and stress in Iowa marital dissolution cases
At the Hope Law Firm P.L.C., our divorce attorneys are vigilant about controlling costs for our clients. Mediation is one successful tool we have for managing contentious cases without incurring high court costs. In fact, the state of Iowa has found mediation to be so helpful that courts often mandate it before they schedule divorce cases for trial. However, to get the most out of the process, you need an experienced attorney working with you to assert your rights and protect your interests.
How divorce mediation works in Iowa
In divorce mediation, spouses meet with an independent third party, called a mediator, to reach agreement on the issues of their divorce. The mediator listens to both sides and tries to guide the parties to mutually acceptable resolutions. When the spouses reach an agreement, they present a signed document to the court for approval. Unless the agreement is patently unfair, infringes of the rights of the children to child support or violates some law or public policy, the court is generally willing to accept the agreement and incorporate its terms into the divorce decree. The advantages of mediation include:
- It takes less time to reach an agreement.
- Court costs are reduced.
- Spouses are more likely to accept mediated terms than terms the court imposes.
- Spouses are free to pursue litigation if the mediation fails.
However, you should also be aware of the potential downside:
- A mediator cannot give legal advice.
- Not all mediators are attorneys, so yours might not know the legal implications of proposed terms of your agreement.
To fully protect your rights, it’s advisable to consult with a knowledgeable attorney while you are engaged in divorce mediation.
How does divorce mediation differ from a collaborative divorce?
One of the current trends in family law is collaborative divorce, where both spouses work cooperatively with their attorneys to reach a settlement agreement. To make sure the couples commit to the collaborative process, the attorneys promise not to enter into litigation. So, if one or both spouses decide to abandon the collaboration, they have to start from scratch with new lawyers. Although this approach can work for spouses who communicate well, it is not appropriate for all couples or all issues. Collaborative divorce is not appropriate for relationships where there has been domestic violence. It is also not particularly effective for contentious divorce issues, such as property division or child custody when one of the parents plans on relocating.
To get the most out of your divorce mediation, speak to an attorney at the Hope Law Firm
The Hope Law Firm is dedicated to providing high-quality, cost-effective divorce representation. Our attorneys can advise you throughout the mediation process. To schedule an appointment, often within 24 hours, call us at 515-255-3559 or contact our West Des Moines office online.