Erin Durnell answers:
Generally speaking, collaborative law can be less expensive than mediation and should be much less expensive than litigation. Typically, both mediation and litigation will require some kind of formal discovery, which can be expensive. In collaborative law, the parties agree to freely and completely share information without needing to conduct formal discovery.
In litigation, 2-3 hours of time are required to prepare for every hour of court time. Mediation sessions can last for 3 hours, but in divorce cases, they more often last for a full day or more. While collaborative law may require a few settlement sessions, they are of much shorter duration – usually 1 or 2 hours – and are used to help the parties move forward toward their mutually-determined goals. Overall, collaborative law can be less expensive than both mediation and litigation.