I truly believe that when couples separate “nobody wins financially”. Having to separate financials and create two households is a huge depletion of resources. The sharing of costs while creating your separation specifics is an advantage to mediation.
When you have your lawyers handle your separation (collaboratively or individually) or when you go to court for litigation, each spouse is paying their own lawyer in billable hours. Mediation on the other hand is a shared cost.
Let me give you an example of how cost effective this can be. For a three-hour collaborative meeting each spouse is required to pay his or her own lawyer which in total would be 6 hours of billable time. In mediation the spouses would split the cost and the total billable time would be 3 hours (or 1.5 hours per spouse). This is a significant cost saving.