Posted on January 12, 2012 in Family Law
Q. I have a mediation in my Iowa dissolution of marriage scheduled next week. How do I prepare?
A. You should first review and update your financial affidavit to make sure it is accurate. Also, review the other side’s financial affidavit to see if it is missing any information or if you need proof of accuracy to be brought to the mediation. If you find the other side’s affidavit is missing information, contact your attorney so the other side brings financial documentation to the mediation. It might be helpful to make a list of personal property and debts you would take and a list of personal property and debts to be awarded to the other side. This will prevent spending valuable time “dividing silverware” at the mediation.
Be thinking about an appropriate co-parenting schedule if children are involved. Some guidelines can be found at the following website: www.mediate.com/divorce/pg1034.cfm.
If real property is involved, consider whether the parties have placed values on the property that are significantly different. If so, it may be in your interest to consider getting an appraisal.
If there is real estate, consider these options:
* sell it and divide the equity
* keep it and pay the other side their one-half of net equity
* transfer to the other side and the other side pays you one-half of the net equity
Most important, when your mediation approaches get plenty of rest and be thinking clearly with an open mind. Do not bring with you a “take it or leave it” attitude. That can sink a mediation before it even begins. For more information, including a list of frequently asked questions and a directory of mediators, go to www.iamediators.org.Mandatory mediation in Iowa Divorces has created opportunities for settlement. Preparation is the key to a successful mediation. This article provides some tips on how to prepare for mediation