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113 Blue Jay Dr., Ste 100
Liberty MO 64068
Ph: 800.595.9750
Ph: 816.792-9989
Fax: 816.792.8746



  1. What is mediation?
  3. Does the mediator provide legal advice or counseling?
  5. Do I have to pay for mediation?
  7. What issues can be discussed in mediation?
  9. When does mediation end?
  11. What if we reach an agreement?
  13. What if we don't reach an agreement, what will the court be told?
  15. Do I qualify for mediation at no cost?

What is mediation? 

Mediation is a process where a mediator, an impartial third party, assists you in making mutually agreeable decisions about your child(ren). An important part of the mediator's role is to help you keep your communication respectful with each other and to help you stay focused on finding workable solutions that are in the best interests of your child(ren). 

Does the mediator provide legal advice or counseling? 

No. Even if the mediator is an attorney or a licensed mental health 
professional, the mediator is not acting as an attorney or as a counselor. The mediator will not give legal advice or provide counseling to either parent. The mediator does not represent either parent. Both parents are advised to obtain independent legal counsel. 

Do I have to pay for mediation? 

There is no cost to you for up to four hours of mediation, which is normally enough time to resolve most disagreements mediated through M.A.R.C.H. If additional mediation time is necessary and agreed upon by the parents, you will have to pay the mediator for that additional time, which is negotiated directly with the mediator. However, most mediations are completed within four hours, with hard work from the parents. 

What issues can be discussed in mediation? 

Almost any issue relating to your child(ren) can be discussed. 
  • Parenting time 
  • Custody 
  • Health insurance 
  • Child support 
  • Discipline 
  • Child(ren)'s safety 
  • Education 
  • Transportation 
  • Conflict management 
  • Family communication 
  • Establishing paternity 
  • Other issues 

When does mediation end? 

It ends upon agreement by the parties and the mediator. The mediator may end the mediation at any time if the mediator believes that continuing would be unproductive or harmful to one or both of the parents or the child(ren). 
If a parent has been ordered to mediate by a court, that parent is obligated to attend a mediation session for a minimum of two hours. 

What if we reach an agreement? 

Any understanding reached by you as a result of mediation will not be binding upon you until it is reduced to writing, signed by both parents reviewed your attorneys, if any, and approved by the court. 
The mediator will write your agreements and provide copies to you and to your attorneys, if any. If a court order is desired and both parents are unrepresented, the mediator will provide a summary of understanding to the M.A.R.C.H. office who will forward it to a M.A.R.C.H. Contract Attorney to prepare necessary pleadings to obtain an order from the court and forward that to the court. Parents will not be charged for the use of a contract attorney; and, a filing fee may be available on request for filing with the court. 

If we don't reach agreement, what will the court be told? 

If mediation is court ordered, the court will be told only that no agreement was reached or if a parent fails to attend a court ordered mediation. If the mediation was not court ordered, the court will not be told anything. Missouri law provides that the mediation process is confidential and nothing said in setting up or conducting the mediation may be repeated in court. 

Do I qualify for mediation at no cost? 

Parents who are actively receiving service from the Missouri Dept. of Social Services, Family Support Division, in the following areas are eligible to receive four hours of mediation services at no cost:

  • TANF 
  • Paternity establishment 
  • Child support modifications 
  • Child support enforcement 
  • Child medical services (MO Healthnet / Medicaid);

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