The Mission of the Southwest Iowa Mediation Center is:
To provide for mandatory mediation in child custody cases, to mediate resolutions for other disputes suitable for such processes, and to bring mediation to the attention of the judiciary, the practicing bar, and the public both through the practice of dispute resolution and through mediation education.
This method of resolving disputes between adverse parties in mediated cooperation, rather than in adversarial proceedings, benefits many. The initial group targeted for such benefits is parents in child custody disputes, as Iowa statute mandates mediation in child custody cases.
However, other groups stand to benefit from the services of the Center. As the Center grows in its primary field of mandatory mediation facilitation, it will expand its services to family law generally, as well as into other areas of dispute which would otherwise be resolved though civil litigation. Mediation services may extend to any of the various areas of law which would otherwise be suited to small claims court.
The services of the Center will benefit not only those individuals whom it aids in reaching mediated conflict resolutions, but will also have the external effect of reducing judicial caseloads. As the Center's services expand, the number of cases the Center handles should increase correspondingly. As this number increases, there should be a corresponding decrease in both the overall number of child custody disputes in the Fourth District and in the number of issues presented for adversarial resolution in those cases. There should also be a corresponding decrease in the number of cases presented in civil small claims court as awareness and utilization of the Center's services increases.
Mediation: It's your solution.