In most of the counties in the upstate, Mediation is mandatory before litigants can proceed to trial in Family Court, Common Pleas Court, and Probate Court. In parties with little or no financial resources, this can be a financial burden, as hourly fees of private mediators can be prohibitive for many. Thus was born the Upstate Mediation Center, a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization which provides mediation services regardless of income.
All of this requires mediators—people of diverse professional and community backgrounds who are willing to be trained in mediation skills and volunteer a few hours a week, month or year.
To insure the “high-quality” of services and high probability that UMC mediators can facilitate resolution, every UMC mediator needs to be trained. UMC mediator training requirements match programs that the American Bar Association recently called the “most demanding in the country.” The mediator training program is 40 hours in duration and approved by the Supreme Court of South Carolina. Many mediators have a legal and social work background, however it is not a requirement.
The Family Court Mediation Training is offered by the South Carolina Bar Continuing Legal Education Division and other private organizations at various locations throughout the year. The UMC offers a limited number of “scholarships” to help defray the cost of the course in exchange for a commitment to volunteer once or twice a month during the year following the training.
Please request your court mandated (Family Court or Court of Common Pleas) mediation below.
Our team will be in contact regarding scheduling finalization and details. Mediation is not scheduled until confirmed by the Mediation Coordinator, Zoey Klein.