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Comparing Divorce through Mediation and Collaborative Divorce

Divorce through mediation and collaborative divorce are not the same thing, but they can follow a similar process. In Pinellas County and throughout Florida, you will be encouraged to try either mediation or collaboration before taking your divorce to court. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement through one of these processes, then your divorce attorneys may recommend taking your case before a judge.

Understand the Processes

The goal of both mediation and collaboration is to reach a divorce settlement without requiring either party (along with their divorce attorneys) to go to court. This saves money and time. Another benefit of both mediation and collaborative divorce is that everything said throughout each process is private and kept out of public record.

Here is a brief description of mediation and collaboration with a bit more information.


In mediation, you, your spouse and an impartial third party (mediator) will discuss property and debt distribution. Child support, custody and time sharing will be included if you have children. You may both have a mediator if you do not want to share one.


During collaboration, you and your spouse each have your own divorce attorney who looks out for your best interests during settlement negotiations. Both parties ask for what they want and ideally come to an agreement through negotiation. You may share an attorney if you prefer.

Collaborative Mediation

In Florida, including Largo and the surrounding areas, one other option for divorcing couples is called collaborative mediation. You and your spouse can work through a mediator but, before signing anything, you can consult your divorce attorney to ensure that the settlement is fair. If you need further clarification, click here.

How to Decide

Mediation is ideal if you and your spouse are able to have several civil conversations. It works well when there is low animosity. Collaboration allows for both parties to remain apart throughout the proceedings. This can be of benefit in cases of anger, frustration or intimidation tactics. In the end, only you know which process is right for you.

Wagstaff and Pitelis, P.A. can help you with divorce through mediation, collaboration, or through collaborative mediation. We are experienced and compassionate divorce attorneys serving Palm Harbor, Largo, and the surrounding areas. Call us today at (727) 584-8182 or fill out our contact form to schedule your consultation.