Litigation or litigation divorce is the most expensive of the options financially and emotionally, now and in the future. As an adversarial process that emphasizes and focuses on the worst characteristics and nature of the clients, negative emotions and conflict escalate, attorneys fees and costs mount. Disputes between former spouses/partners, ie, the dirty laundry, are aired in public and hurt feelings solidify into long term animosity. A total stranger in a black robe makes all your decisions for you sometimes even leaving the “winners” feeling more like losers.
Mediation or mediation divorce is potentially the least expensive of the options in the short term. Financially, the costs are usually relatively modest. And mediation helps minimize the emotional impacts for everyone, especially the kids. The clients are in control of the outcome so it is more likely they will like the agreement, understand it and honor it longer than those that may result from the stress and duress of litigation or the orders of the trial court.
Collaboration or collaborative divorce is potentially the best value of the three. While the investment, estimated at 1/3 the cost of litigating the same case in your market, is typically more than mediation [although you can pay as much as $6,000.00 per day for top national level mediators!], you get more. The role of the team of professionals is to educate, guide and coach the clients through the process.