In 2002, a movie highlighted the difficulties of a marriage between two different cultures. The main character of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” recently announced that she and her husband of 25 years — and on whose marriage the movie was based — are seeking a type of collaborative law divorce. This alternative dispute resolution option is gaining in popularity in Florida and across the country.  

There are several alternatives to the traditional litigated divorce. Nia Vardalos, the actress from the movie, announced that she and her former spouse will settle the issue of spousal support through mediation rather than fighting it out in court. Mediation and collaborative law offer different approaches that may appeal to couples who are able to communicate effectively. 

Getting a divorce is a legal matter, no matter the approach, though the outcome — a divorce decree — is the same. The differences relate more to how the process is handled. While many couples prefer the idea of lessening the adversarial elements, it doesn’t work for everyone. There are times when litigation is the preferable approach, especially if domestic abuse is involved. A litigated divorce is often seen as more costly and time-consuming, though sometimes it’s necessary. 

Both mediation and collaborative divorce provide more freedom to choose the outcomes, and they’re typically able to have more input than they can through the courts. There are significant differences between a mediation and a collaborative law divorce, and each couple must be willing to work together to a certain extent if this approach is to be successful. Florida residents for whom a more cooperative approach to divorce may work well can get detailed information from an attorney who is experienced in handling these types of proceedings.