Unlike litigation, the collaborative process allows the parties to maintain control of the ultimate outcome of the dispute, while encouraging open communication and the sharing of all pertinent information. Voluntary sharing of information saves time and money, as compared to the formal discovery process used to obtain information in litigation. The collaborative process also allows parties to access professional guidance from mental health and financial experts in a non-adversarial setting, so that the parties receive the same information at the same time, and can use the information or advice to make important decisions. Perhaps the greatest benefit of choosing collaborative comes for the children involved in a divorce or parental separation. By minimizing conflict and focusing on resolution, parents spare their children exposure to the lengthy period of stress, uncertainty, and discord caused by a litigated child custody case, and the parents generally report greater satisfaction with the terms of their agreed parenting plan than with an order determined by a judge.