Couples in Illinois may worry about the upheaval of a divorce and what it will cost them, not just financially, but emotionally. If they have children, the concerns are probably double. Spouses do have an option to improve the process and the outcome for themselves and their children: collaborative divorce.

Sometimes, there is no easy way to divide a household and parenting responsibilities, such as when a couple cannot come to agreements because of the high level of conflict between them. However, as Psychology Today explains, that conflict can cause emotional scars for parents and children that never go away, and that is one of the primary driving factors behind the rise in collaborative divorce. Professionals call it a “better divorce” for a reason.

Respect is not usually a word that people associate with divorce, but it is one of the cornerstones of collaborative law. The process removes the threat of litigation and the use of attorneys to punish the other spouse by making him or her “pay” through unfair property division, spousal support and an imbalanced parenting plan. Instead, the spouses work to communicate respectfully and rebuild trust between them as they go through the legal process of ending their marriage.

FindLaw points out that couples who doubt their ability to remain civil may want to consider hiring other professionals to assist them through the emotional side of the process, such as therapists or mediators. Having conflict resolution tactics and coping mechanisms to deal with the negative emotions may help both spouses to keep the conflict at bay during the divorce, and after, as they continue to work together as co-parents to raise happy, healthy children.