In late March actress Gwyneth Paltrow announced on her website that she and her husband, musician Chris Martin, would be separating. Paltrow referred to their marital separation as a "conscious uncoupling". While many people in the media were critical of her using this term, believing it to be a pretentious way of describing divorce, conscious uncoupling is actually an approach to separation and divorce that's geared toward being child friendly. In an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the author talks about a new trend that is emerging in which parents are seeking ways to treat divorce as less of a battle and more of a joint effort between spouses.
The term conscious uncoupling was developed by a Los Angeles therapist named Katherine Woodward Thomas. On her website, which offers free online courses on the topic, she describes conscious uncoupling as a “process for lovingly completing a relationship that will leave you feeling whole and healed and at peace”. Furthermore, Paltrow also added an essay to her site, written by one of her mentors, Habib Sadeghi, and his wife, Sherry Sami. They write the following about the idea of “conscious uncoupling”:
"From this perspective, there are no bad guys, just two people, each playing teacher and student respectively," they say. "When we understand that both are actually partners in each other's spiritual progress, animosity dissolves much quicker and a new paradigm for conscious uncoupling emerges, replacing the traditional, contentious divorce."
A New Approach to Divorce
The Post-Gazette author argues that this type of approach to divorce and separation is catching on. With divorce rates just around 50% in the United States, separation has become just as common as staying together. As a result, parties are looking for smarter and healthier ways to end their relationships. Many people, especially parents are exploring divorce alternative that allow them to minimize conflict. It seems that many feel that divorce is something that some couples can almost expect and, therefore, it should not be the traumatic event that many purport it to be.
The author also discusses how contentious divorce is a cultural norm in the United States and couples can sometimes feel as though they have an obligation to battle in court in order to settle their divorce dispute. This however is not the case. There are many alternatives available to parties who want to separate but are willing to work together to do it. This applies to both how the divorce is approached and how the process is handled.
One divorce option that is discussed as an alternative for couples looking to divorce amicably is Collaborative Divorce. The Post-Gazette article mentions that Collaborative Divorce is a growing trend, particularly among high profile individuals such as Robin Williams and his ex-wife. Many divorce attorneys have noticed an increased demand for Collaborative Divorce lawyers in the past few years and believe that it is a result of parties looking to avoid the contention associated with the most common divorce method, litigation.
Collaborative Divorce as an Alternative
Collaborative Divorce is a fairly new process for settling divorce disputes. Unlike litigation, Collaborative Divorce allows parties to work together in a collaborative environment in order to use compromise to solve their issues. The process involves both parties as well as their divorce attorneys and a mental health professional working as a team to develop a parenting plan, divide their debts and assets and resolve any other divorce disputes. It is designed so that parties can avoid litigation completely. In fact, prior to beginning the process, attorneys must agree that they will not seek litigation and will resign from their roles should the collaborative process fail. This allows parties to be open and honest with each other.
There are many benefits to choosing Collaborative Divorce. Not only is it generally more cost effective and faster than litigation, the process works to minimize conflict. It is a great option for parents who do not want their children involved in a court battle. It also fosters a friendly and collaborative relationship between ex-spouses. This often helps create a stable post-divorce relationship and give parents the tools they need to amicably solve any post-divorce disputes.
If you are considering divorce in New Hampshire and would like to minimize conflict and take a more "conscious uncoupling" approach, consider Collaborative Divorce. Choosing this process is very beneficial and focuses on parties working together rather than as adversaries. For more information about Collaborative Divorce and other divorce options, contact a family law professional at Russman Law today. Don't make divorce any harder than it should be.