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Divorce vs. ‘conscious uncoupling’: What can be learned?

When people imagine what divorce will look like, they might immediately believe that the process will automatically be laden with drama and animosity. Of course, ending a marital relationship is not without challenges: It’s not something that a person should go through without giving it significant thought. However, the reality is that some married couples reach a point where divorce is mutually beneficial. At this point, they may be able to decide exactly how to proceed.

Not long ago, celebrity couple Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announced that they intend to end their marriage. Rather than referring to this decision as “divorce,” Paltrow called it a “conscious uncoupling.” Reports indicate that this term was ridiculed by some, but other observers think the couple might be getting at a more important point.

While Paltrow may have had philosophical reasons to use the phrase that she did, the process of ending a relationship in an amicable, thoughtful fashion could be best for everyone involved. After all, Paltrow and Martin have two children, and the split will obviously impact them. By taking an approach that will succeed in marital division without being overly contentious, the hope is that divorcing couples and their children can move forward.

Of course, when discussing celebrity divorce cases, it may seem difficult for most California residents to relate. Despite the attention given to Martin and Paltrow, their approach could work for couples who want to avoid a drawn-out fight in court. Addressing all of the important family law issues at stake, such as child custody and property division, in an environment that isn’t wrought with tension could allow make a divorce progress smoothly.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Is ‘conscious uncoupling’ a better way to divorce?" Anya Sostek, March 29, 2014