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Iowa Supreme Court makes mediation mandatory in all family law cases with attorney involved

Iowa Supreme Court

DES MOINES – The Iowa Supreme Court has made mediation mandatory in all family law cases with an attorney involved.

According to a statement released today by the Iowa Supreme Court:

“In an effort to help resume family law cases that were otherwise delayed by the pandemic, on July 9, 2020, the supreme court issued an order directing each judicial district to “establish or continue procedures for mandatory mediation or mandatory judicial settlement conferences in all family law cases where at least one party is represented by an attorney.” The order outlined the requirements each plan must meet and required parties to submit a report to the district court regarding an overview of the outcome of the mediation. On February 12, 2021, the supreme court entered an order adopting the plans established by each district. The supreme court has found mandatory mediation or mandatory judicial settlement conferences to be effective in family law cases and orders that the mediation plan and reporting requirements outlined in the July and February orders and any amendments thereto continue on a permanent basis going forward.”

Each district’s plans can be viewed on the Iowa Judicial Branch website, at To find a district’s plan, click the district’s name in the left-hand column and choose “Family Law Mediation.”

The mediation report form can be found at THIS LINK.

This order is effective retroactive to January 1, 2022.

Mediation involves more lawyers and usually costs hundreds of dollars per session, with no guaranteed outcome.

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