Collaborative law allows everyone to concentrate on settling the case and not litigation. That is because each party hires a lawyer trained in collaborative law and everyone signs a participation agreement that requires both lawyers to withdraw if the case does not settle and goes to litigation.
There are a series of four-way meetings among the parties and the lawyers. Everyone participates in the meetings. Instead of communicating through lawyers, everyone can talk face to face to all the participants at the meetings.
Full and early disclosure of all financial issues is another element of collaborative law. Instead of hiring competing experts to value assets or make custody assessments, the parties agree on one expert.
In a traditional litigated divorce, the only issues are financial and legal. Collaborative lawyers are allowed to consider long term issues as well such as preserving the relationship for the future.
You each have to hire and pay a lawyer, but you will probably save money as compared to litigation. You control the outcome of your divorce and the collaborative law process is faster than litigation. It differs from mediation in that each party has a lawyer representing their individual interests in the four way meetings.