Phone: (314) 862-0202

Experienced St. Louis Divorce Attorney & Divorce Mediator

Marta J. Papa

Location: Saint Louis, Missouri
Phone: (314) 862-0202
Fax: (314) 862-3626
Email: E-mail Me

Marta divides her time between mediating and litigating family law matters. Recently, through a Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly poll, she was voted by her peers as one of the “Best Divorce Attorneys in Missouri.” She was also elected by both her peers and Martindale-Hubbell to the “Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers” in recognition of her accomplishments as a St. Louis divorce attorney.

Marta received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston and obtained a post-graduate certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy Training from the prestigious Menninger Psychiatric Institute. She has extensive training in negotiation and divorce mediation, and is a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution, the Association of Missouri Mediators, the International Association of Collaborative Professionals, and the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM). Marta has taught Mediation, Dissolution of Marriage, and Civil Litigation at several universities and is currently adjunct faculty at St. Louis University in the Graduate School of Social Work. She also conducts family law mediation training seminars for lawyers, judges, and mental health professionals, as well as seminars for individuals considering divorce. Marta has published numerous articles on family law and mediation. As a regular guest speaker at conferences, on television, and on radio programs, Marta has helped establish mediation as an alternative to divorce litigation in the St. Louis area. Marta was recently elected to the “Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers” by Martindale-Hubbell and her peers. The Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register is limited to only the most distinguished law practices – those that have achieved the AV rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory. The “A” signifies the highest level of legal ability, while the “V” denotes “very high” adherence to the professional standards of conduct, ethics, reliability, and diligence.

When Marta’s own marriage was falling apart she looked desperately for a book that would be compassionate, knowledgeable, uplifting, and accessible all at the same time. She already knew the legal components of a divorce, as she had been a practicing divorce lawyer for several years. However, she was not prepared for the emotional toll she was experiencing during the divorce process. Marta wanted a book to normalize the stress, fear, and heartbreak she was feeling, but could not find a book that provided what she yearned for. That is when she decided to write the book that was missing from the bookshelves. For  five years Marta compiled anecdotes, lessons, and advice from clients, therapists, and other lawyers into a comprehensive guide to divorce. Recently the hard work paid off and she published her first novel, 7 Secrets from The Divorce Whisperer: Saving Yourself, Your Money, & Your Children During Divorce.  She hopes that her book provides clarity to readers and that mediation eventually becomes the process of choice for couples facing divorce.

With over 16 publications, 25 speaker appearances, and 15 certifications and awards, Marta Papa is an expert in family mediation and divorce. She is a nationally recognized speaker on divorce and has been featured in various publications like Times, Wall Street Journal, Sky Radio, and Marie Claire. She welcomes the opportunity to be a keynote speaker at various conferences, organizations, or continuing education events.

Areas of Practice

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Mediator and Early Neutral Evaluator, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • Mediator, 20th Judicial Circuit, St. Clair County, Illinois
  • Mediator, 3rd Judicial Circuit, Madison County, Illinois
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy Training, The Menninger School of Psychiatry
  • Mediator, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • Mediator, 21st Judicial Circuit

Bar Admissions

  • Missouri, 1995


  • University of Houston Law Center, Houston, Texas
    • J.D. – 1980
  • Post-graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy at the Menninger School of Psychiatry
    • 1998
  • Post-graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy at the Menninger School of Psychiatry – 1998
  • University of Illinois
    • B.A. – 1977
    • Major: Political Science

Published Works

  • Table of Experts: Round Table Discussion with Family Law Professionals On Divorce, St. Louis Business Journal, October 2015.
  • A Conversation with Marta Papa, Divorce Whisperer, St. Louis Magazine, September 2012
  • The ABC’s of Resolving Relational Conflict Between Couples, the Illinois Counselor (ICA Quarterly Newsletter), September 2012
  • Downturn Driving up Divorce Mediation Cases, St. Louis Business Journal, October 2011
  • Why Does Manimony Feel So Wrong?, Marie Claire Magazine, May 2011
  • Breaking up Without Breaking the Bank, the Wall Street Journal, August 28, 2010
  • Changes in Court: New Child Support Guidelines, Ladue News, January 2009
  • Simplifying Divorce, Ladue News, February 2009
  • Salute to Women in Leadership, Time Magazine, October 2008
  • Business Mediation: A Better Way to Resolve Workplace Conflict,, Marta J. Papa, October 2008
  • Rights of Never-Married and Same-Sex Couples, Family Mediation Quarterly, Marta J. Papa, October 2008
  • Collaborative Law Association Formed, St. Louis Business Journal, September 2003
  • Interdisciplinary Collaborative Law, St. Louis Lawyer Magazine, Marta J. Papa, August 2003
  • Collaboration, Ladue News, Marta J. Papa, August 2003
  • Collaborative Law:  A New Alternative for Divorcing Couples, St. Louis Lawyer Magazine, February 2003
  • Collaborative Law in Dissolution Cases, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, Marta J. Papa, October 2002
  • Mediation for the Future, St. Louis Parent Magazine, June 1998
  • Divorce Mediation in St. Louis County, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, Marta J. Papa, 1998
  • Divorce Mediation: How is it Working in St. Louis?, Missouri Bar Journal, Marta J. Papa, November 1997
  • Recent Changes in St. Louis County Family Court, News Weekly, Marta J. Papa, May 1995
  • Mediation Program Approved for St. Louis County Family Court, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, Marta J. Papa, April 1995
  • Way to Smooth Road to Painful Divorce, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 1995
  • Divorcing Parents to Take Classes, Ladue News, Marta J. Papa, March 1995
  • County to Promote Divorce Mediation, St. Louis Suburban Journals, March 1995


  • Marketing to Your Own Tribe, Academy of Professional Family Mediators Annual Conference, Washington, D.C., November 2015
  • Guiding Divorcing Families through Crisis as a Divorce Mediator, Illinois Mental Health Counselors Association, 23rd Annual Conference, Skokie, Illinois, March 3, 2012
  • Divorce Whispering, National Association of Social Workers – Illinois Chapter, 2011 Statewide Conference, Oak Brook, Illinois, November 10, 2011
  • Divorce Considerations for Women, University of Missouri Extension Program: Divorce on the Horizon, multiple appearances throughout 2010-2011
  • Mediation, St. Clair County Continuing Legal Education: Survival Guide to Family Law, sponsored by the St. Clair County Bar Association, June 4, 2009
  • Helping Children Caught in the Middle of Divorce, Clayton Public School Counselors, May 19, 2009
  • Using Mediation in the Workplace, St. Louis Employee Assistance Program Association, May 15, 2009
  • Never Married and Same-Sex Couples, National Association for Conflict Resolution National Conference, Park City, Utah, 2008
  • Honoring Women in Leadership, American Airlines’ Sky Radio, 2008
  • Mediating Adoptions, Adoption and Foster Care Coalition Annual State Convention, November 14, 2007
  • Custody Mediation, Lewis and Clark Chapter of the Illinois Counseling Association, October 24, 2007
  • Negotiation Strategies, National Association of Women Business Owners, July 18, 2007
  • Role of a Financial Planner in Team Mediation, St. Louis Financial Planners Association, April 5, 2007
  • Advanced Mediation Training, United States Arbitration and Mediation Semi-Annual Training, 2001
  • Families and Children and Mediation, Missouri Bar Advanced Guardian Ad Litem Training, 1999
  • Advanced Mediation Training and Demonstration, Office of the State Courts Administrator, State of Missouri, June 19, 1998
  • Live Divorce Mediation Demonstration, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis Continuing Education Program
  • Mediation of Parenting Plans and Demonstration, Land of Lincoln Family Law Training at University of Illinois-Springfield, October 12, 2007
  • Grandparents Rights During Divorce, Association of Grandparents Acting as Parents Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, 2002
  • Divorce Mediation, First Dispute Resolution Day Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, 1998
  • How Mediation Prevents Escalation of Hostilities during Divorce, KMOX Radio, 2003
  • Violence and Divorce, KTVI Channel 2 News, 2001
  • The Good Divorce, KSDK Channel 5 News, 2000

Honors and Awards

  • Elected to the “Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers” by Martindale-Hubbell and her peers
  • “AV Rated” by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Voted Best Divorce Lawyer in Missouri by peers in “Missouri Best” Poll

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • St. Louis Psychological Association, Member
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Member
  • ABA Advisory Panel, Member
  • Association for Conflict Resolution, Member
  • Association of Missouri Mediators, Member
  • Association of Family Conciliatory Courts, Member
  • Academy of Professional Family Mediators, Member

Call (314) 862-0202 today or contact us online to discuss your family legal matter with a distinguished St. Louis divorce attorney.