The Seventh Judicial District does not require third-party mediation services in family law cases. Instead of separate mediation services, the District requires settlement conferences with a judge approximately thirty days prior to the scheduled trial date. The parties and their attorneys, if any, will meet to discuss the status of their case. At this conference, the parties must 1) conduct good faith settlement negotiations; 2) identify and stipulate both the disputed and undisputed issues and file a written statement thereof before trial; and 3) prepare and file a joint statement of assets and liabilities.
Children in the Middle
Iowa law requires that parties to any action which involves the issues of child custody or visitation must attend a court-approved course about the effects of divorce on children. These classes are designed to help minimize the negative impact of divorce on children and educate parents about the needs of children whose parents are divorcing.
Each court participant must complete this class within 45 days of the date the case was filed, the date a court participant was notified that a case has been filed, or by the trial scheduling conference, whichever comes first. If a court participant does not attend this class by the deadline, this may 1) delay the entry of final orders in the case until the court participant has completed the class; 2) hurt the court participant’s chances of getting what he or she wants if there is a hearing or trial; and/or 3) result in a finding of contempt by the Court.
Each participant is responsible for the class fee and for making arrangements to attend the class by calling and registering with one of the approved agencies listed below. If a participant does not believe he or she can fulfill this requirement (e.g. the participant lives in another state), the participant must file a motion requesting permission to take an alternative course.
Scott Community College Urban Center
306 West River Drive, Davenport, IA
West Liberty Regional Learning & Cultural Center
119 East Third Street, West Liberty, IA
Clinton Community College
1000 Lincoln Boulevard, Clinton, IA
CCC - Maquoketa Center
501 West Washington Street, Maquoketa, IA
Muscatine Community College McAvoy Center
1403 Park Avenue, Muscatine, IA
Tipton High School
400 East Sixth Street, Tipton, IA
Marriage and Family Counseling Service
Informal Family Law Trial Program
The Iowa Supreme Court selected the Seventh Judicial District to serve as a site for instituting a new, informal family law trial procedure for use in certain family law actions. Below, you will find many resources governing the project, including informational brochures and relevant forms for self-represented parties and attorneys.
If you have any additional questions about this pilot project, please contact District Court Administration at (563) 326-8783.