In Greenville County, mediation is required before a final order is issued in Family Court, Common Pleas Court (with some limited exceptions) and, since 2007, Probate Court. The result has been that many cases settle either during or soon after the mediation, thereby easing the courts’ caseloads and saving litigants time and money. Like many good ideas, however, mandatory mediation had an unintended consequence in that parties with little or no financial resources now faced an additional expense. Private mediators in the Greenville area charge from $175 to $350 per hour, which can be prohibitive for many people. Thus was born the Upstate Mediation Center, a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization which provides mediation services at a flat rate based on income and which does not refuse services because of an inability to pay. The parties often do not have lawyers and are not familiar with the legal system. The UMC is unique in the Upstate; in fact, the only other similar organization in the state of South Carolina is located in Columbia.