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Marta J. Papa

Divorce and separation Attorney at Saint Louis, MO

5.0   7 reviews

About Marta

Learn Marta’s areas of practice.

2
Practice areas
  1. Divorce and separation
    60%

    29 years, 10,000 cases

  2. Mediation
    40%
    With more than 25 years of experience mediating divorces, Marta is a trusted authority. In addition to having her own divorce mediation practice, Marta J. Papa trains Judges, lawyers and professionals in mediation and conflict resolution.

    30 years, 4,000 cases

 About Marta

  • Voted "Best Divorce Lawyer in Missouri" by my peers in a Missouri Lawyers Weekly poll.
  • Skilled Litigator and Negotiator who has helped over 10,000 people in Missouri get divorced.
  • Successfully helped over 4,000 couples use Divorce Mediation in Missouri and Illinois. 
  • Elected to the Bar Register of Preeminant Lawyers by my peers.
  • Earned post-graduate degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from the prestigious Menninger School of Psychiatry.
  • Teaches Divorce Mediation Courses to Judges, attorneys and other professionals, which are approved by the Supreme Court.
  • Author of "7 Secrets from the Divorce Whisperer: Saving Yourself, Your Money and Your Children During Divorce."
  • National speaker and trainer on Best Practices in Family Law.

Photos and videos

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Licensed for 42 years
State MO
Status Good Standing, Active
Acquired 1995
Updated 09/20/2022
State IL
Status Voluntarily Inactive
Acquired 1980
Updated 10/11/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Marta

Marta J. Papa
7101 Delmar Blvd.
Saint Louis, MO, 63130

Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  7 customer reviews
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Posted by Nathan | February 21, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional, straight forward, and simple
Marta was recommended by my wife’s counselor. We worked with Josh. Josh made this process as easy as I believe it possibly could have been. He really kept the ball rolling, and answered all of our questions thoroughly. While I hope I never have to use their services again, I will recommend them to anyone in need.
Posted by Ed | August 8, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Hands Down: The Best Family Law Attorney in St. Louis
When your life can change in an instant, you want a lawyer who is knowledgeable, caring, and who goes above beyond helpful to fight for you. That person is Marta J. Papa. Honesty, Integrity, and Persistence. These three words embody Marta, her work ethic, and her unrelenting pursuit to protect her clients and their best rights/best interests. Marta is extraordinary forthcoming, even if it is not what "you want to hear." She does not equivocate in what she knows is right AND realistic. With over twenty-five years of experience, Marta has proven herself to be an exemplar professional, respected, and family law expert in the St. Louis Region. Honesty: The legal issue Marta represented me for what was an ugly and complicated situation. Marta fought for me every step of the way, but also kept me grounded by never leading me on or promising things that were just not possible. She will fight for what you want - but she will straight up tell you if you are in the not being being realistic or if certain parts of your case is not strong enough. Persistence: She kept herself abreast on the most up-to-date laws, which turned out to work out in my favor tremendously. In court, the opposing counsel called into question the legitimacy of a law. The opposing counsel was overruled by the judge once Marta presented the new law/legislation, by literally handing out copies of the statute, leaving the opposing counsel bemused and speechless. Marta does her research, stays current on legislation, and also references legal precedents. Integrity: At no time was I left in the dark about my case. It was an arduous and complicated process. Marta and her incredible staff immediately contacted me if there were new developments. Marta genuinely cared about me as a person (not just "another client") and the interest of my children. Marta's name was given to me from people I spoke to who were aware of my situation or had gone through similar experiences, once I started to inquire about good family law lawyers in St. Louis. Marta's name was literally on everyone's list. Bottom Line: Call and set up a time to meet with Marta. If you need serious and professional legal counsel, Marta is unequivocally the best family law attorney you will find.
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Posted by Linda | November 19, 2014
Professional in a very comfortable environment
Marta did SUCH a great job explaining everything to my husband to make him feel more comfortable about the mediation process. He was very skeptical that mediation would work. She is very knowledgeable, that is evident, with just the right level of empathy and I feel was very fair to both parties as well. I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart. For me, divorce really has been a last resort and not one that I contemplated lightly. I am so glad our counselor recommended that we see her about it. While my husband can't see it now and may never be able to, I would hope that some day he would realize what a far superior process this was over his previous two divorces. Her office environment was a pleasant bonus. For a difficult process, having a warm, comfortable office space made all the difference. I will recommend not only Marta, but the mediation process to anyone I know considering a divorce.
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Posted by anonymous | August 8, 2014
Simply amazing.
Marta is very creative. I was always pleasantly surprised by her well reasoned responses to challenges / nonsense from opposing counsel. Marta's staff is very responsive and caring. Divorce / custody / modifications are PAINFUL, but Marta's staff takes a little of the sting out of the process. While I am elated that my ordeal is over, I do MISS Marta!
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Posted by Chris | November 29, 2013
Responsive and effective service
Going through a divorce is tough, and I had no idea where to start, but finding Marta’s practice was the best thing that could have happened. I had an initial consultation with Marta and she went over how the divorce process works, the general timeline, what I would need to do, and what I needed to look out for. Having this type of guidance allowed me to focus on the areas that mattered, and eased the concerns that were unnecessary. I was given sound advice on the best avenue to pursue, and it was incredibly helpful in reaching a quick and amiable resolution. Once my (now) ex-wife was ready to proceed, we made it through all the paperwork in just 11 days, thanks to the responsive and helpful staff at this practice. I really like that Marta and her team always tried to make the process as painless and efficient as possible instead of dragging things out and running up my bill. If you are looking for responsive and effective service, I can’t imagine going anywhere else.
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Posted by anonymous | June 25, 2013
Excellent Divorce Attorney
I was filled with fear and uncertainty when my spouse and I broke up. Marta gave me confidence, built up my self esteem, and helped me get through the divorce with my head held high. She provided me with excellent service that you can only get from a small law firm that cares about it's clients. Thank you, Marta!
Posted by Jane | July 12, 2012
Mother, Farmer, Rancher, Legally Seperated
When I first met Marta Papa in June, 2000, I was absolutely petrified of what kind of life I was going to have after 20+ years of marriage and being a stay-at-home Mom for most of that time. Marta and her amazing staff took me through each stage and phase of every option available and helped me to consider each and every choice very carefully. Not only for myself, but for my children and our family. And not only just for NOW but for the FUTURE, too! Her understanding and knowledge of not only the law, but of family dynamics made a terrifying process run smoothly. Of course you appreciate the brillant lawyers who can help you and your children, but I am even MORE grateful to Marta because of her ability to touch our human feelings and needs. Warmth, caring and love is a vital element that is not found in much of this process.....but you will find it in abundance with Marta.
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Cost

Rates
  • Hourly Rates $ 295-350 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 9.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Founder and attorney
  • Marta J. Papa, PC
  • 1988 - Present
  • Adjunct Professor
  • St. Louis University Graduate School
  • 1983 - Present
  • Adjunct Professor
  • Webster University
  • 1983 - Present
  • Adjunct Professor
  • University Of Missouri St. Louis
  • 1983 - Present
  • Trial Attorney
  • United Airlines
  • 1980 - 1982
View all work experience

Education

  • Menninger School of Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Post Graduate Studies Certificate
  • 1998
  • University of Houston Law Center
  • JD - Juris Doctorate
  • 1980
  • University of Illinois
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 1977

Associations

  • Missouri Bar
  • Member
  • 1995 - Present
  • 21st Judicial District Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • St. Louis Psychological Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
  • Member
  • N/A
  • ABA Advisory Panel
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Association for Conflict Resolution
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Association of Missouri Mediators
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Association of Family Conciliatory Courts
  • Member
  • N/A
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Awards

  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2018
  • Served on Board of Directors
  • Academy of Professional Family Mediators
  • 2017
  • Top Lawyer
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly
  • 2015
  • Elected to the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
  • Missouri Bar Association
  • 2011
View all awards

Publications

  • St. Louis Psychological Association
  • Sam-Sex Marriage: Legal Update
  • 2017
  • Contact: An Illinois Counseling Association Publication
  • When 'Marriage Counseling' Turns into 'Divorce Counseling'
  • 2014
  • The Illinois Counselor
  • The 'ABCs' of Resolving Relational Conflict Between Couples
  • 2012
  • Family Mediation Quarterly
  • Rights of Never-Married and Same Sex Couples
  • 2008
  • Mediate.com
  • Business Mediation: A Better Way to Resolve Workplace Conflict
  • 2008
  • St. Louis Lawyer Magazine
  • Collaborative Law: A New Alternative for Divorcing Couples
  • 2003
  • St Louis Lawyer Magazine
  • Interdisciplinary Collaborative Law
  • 2003
  • St. Louis Lawyer
  • Interdisciplinary Collaborative Law
  • 2003
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly
  • Collaborative Law in Dissolution Cases
  • 2002
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly
  • Collaborative Law in Dissolution Cases
  • 2002
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly
  • Divorce Mediation in St. Louis County
  • 1998
  • Missouri Bar Journal
  • Divorce Mediation: How is it Working in St. Louis
  • 1997
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Academy of Professional Family Mediators
  • Marketing Mediation for Your Own Tribe
  • 2016
  • Illinois Mental Health Counselors Association, 23rd Annual Conference
  • Guiding Divorcing Families Through Crisis as a Divorce Mediator
  • 2012
  • National Association of Social Workers-Illinois Chapter, 2011 Statewide Conference
  • Divorce Whispering
  • 2011
  • University of Missouri Extension Program: Divorce on the Horizon
  • Divorce Considerations for Women
  • 2010
  • Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation’s Family Law Seminar
  • Mediation
  • 2010
  • St. Louis Employee Assistance Program Association
  • Using Mediation in the Workplace
  • 2009
  • St. Clair County Continuing Legal Education: Survival Guide to Family Law
  • Mediaton
  • 2009
  • Clayton Public School Counselors
  • Helping Children Caught in the Middle of Divorce
  • 2009
  • National Association for Conflict Resolution National Conference
  • Never Married and Same Sex Couples
  • 2008
  • National Association of Women Business Owners
  • Negotiation Strategies
  • 2007
  • Lewis and Clark Chapter of the Illinois Counseling Association
  • Custody Mediation
  • 2007
  • Adoption and Foster Care Coalition Annual State Convention
  • Mediating Adoptions
  • 2007
  • United States Arbitration and Mediation Semi-Annual Training
  • Advanced Mediation Training
  • 2001
  • Missouri Bar Advanced Guardian Ad Litem Training
  • Families and Children and Mediation
  • 1999
  • St. Louis Financial Planners Association
  • Role of a Financial Planner in Team Mediation
  • N/A
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (4)
Given (1)
Divorce and separation Attorney | Apr 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"For as long as I have known Marta, she has provided top-notch, caring legal representation to her clients. I have recommended people to her and have heard nothing but glowing reviews about how hard she works and how satisfied they are with the results. She offers the unique combination of integrity, dedication and kindness. I strongly endorse Marta Papa."
Divorce and separation Attorney | Nov 14
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
Mediation Attorney | Aug 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Being both an excellent divorce attorney & a successful divorce mediator takes a certain type of person. Usually attorneys are not able to be effective mediators because our legal background and training conditioned us to give legal advice and to be our clients’ advocates. By contrast mediators are prohibited from giving legal advice & are required to be impartial. Marta is one of the exceptions because she is both a successful mediator as well as an excellent attorney. During mediation Marta is impartial yet compassionate, having the open mind necessary to communicate & negotiate between parties to assist them in reaching a voluntary agreement regarding their dispute. She uses her background in family therapy & extensive legal knowledge to assist her with mediations. Marta is also an excellent divorce attorney. Her 20 plus years of practicing in family law along with her dedication has aided her in being one of the best family law attorneys. I am happy to recommend her."
Family Attorney | May 26
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I worked with Marta Papa on several different matters over the years. I consider Marta to be one of the stop family law lawyers in the St. Louis area. Marta is very thorough in her preparation and persuasive in achieving successful results for her clients. I strongly endorse Marta for family law and mediation skills."