Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin are expected to file divorce papers a year after taking to the internet to explain their “conscious uncoupling.”
After the announcement from the actress and musician, “conscious uncoupling” immediately became a trend on Twitter and every other social media outlet. All of a sudden “conscious uncoupling” became part of our lexicon. But what did it mean?
An essay written by Drs.Habib Sadeghi and Sherry Sami (who specialize in combining Eastern and Western medicine) about “conscious uncoupling” accompanied Paltrow and Martin’s announcement. They maintain expectations that your life-long marriage do not match up with humans’ expanded life expectancy. The “success” of a marriage should instead be defined by looking at how meaningful and fulfilling the relationship is for both spouses, rather than how long the marriage lasts.
In simpler terms, conscious uncoupling meant the couple was splitting up.
M. Gary Neuman, marriage expert and creator of the Neuman Method, considers the couple as center of the family. The act of “conscious uncoupling” un-centers the family. This can be dangerous for all obvious reasons.
Keeping the Bliss Alive
According to a study done by American and European researchers, newlyweds only have two years to enjoy the joy that a wedding brings to their relationships. Following the two years, the relationship moves towards one that is more focused on companionship rather than burning love emotions. The study tracked 1,761 people who got married and stayed married over 15 years.
While some couples were happy with the companionship that came after the two years, some couples felt it indicated something was wrong in their marriage. According to the Neuman Method, here are some ways to keep that “spring in your step” when it comes to your relationship.
- New experiences – experience something new together like a poetry class or attending a lecture on something that interests you both. You don’t want to drag your spouse along to something they can’t stand.
- Travel together
- Small surprises go a long way. They don’t even have to cost anything – a love note or a text is a great reminder that you’re thinking of your spouse.
- Turn off social media, cell phones, work, etc… Disconnect so you can reconnect.
- Pay attention to the little things – the new way she’s doing her hair, or the fact that he is wearing a new cologne.
Marriage takes a lot of work. And even after years of work it can be hard to make it work. Conscious uncoupling demonstrates a kinder approach when moving on from a marriage. One that seems to align with another common trend in divorce: mediation or collaborative divorce.
As Family lawyer Nathalie Boutet explained, amicable and collaborative divorces or “conscious uncoupling” allows couples to avoid any unnecessary conflict. This type of conflict prolongs and publicizes negotiations, explained Boutet. According to her, “[Conscious uncoupling] is simply thinking about the consequences of your actions…it’s making plans rather than reacting to emotions like fear, anger or revenge.”
During a collaborative divorce process a team of four people—lawyers for each spouse, a mental health coach and financial professional – sit down and work together to create a solution for each spouse regarding everything that needs to be decided: child support and visitation, spousal support, and marital property division. Collaboration is done face to face so that each spouse is able to voice his or her own opinion. The team allows open communication and negotiation. The process allows people to work together as a team of negotiators to come to an emotional, financial, and legal solution.
Less Expensive and Less Time Spent
According to Jenkins, when a divorce goes to court, you can pay $100,000 just to get to the courthouse steps. An average collaborative can save you a ton of money, as the average one costs about $32,000. “People are raiding their retirement accounts just to pay for divorces,” said Rackham Karlsson, a collaborative attorney. “Going to court can be more expensive, more time intensive and corrosive for children.”
An average collaborative divorce takes three to four months to reach a settlement. When it comes to standard divorce, there really is no timeline. In fact, some divorces, when extremely litigious, have been known to drag on for years as spouses fight over property and spousal support, and who will receive the wedding china. And because a standard divorce decision is left up to a judge to decide, there is very little control you have over timing and outcome with a case that goes to divorce court.
A Good Alternative
There are numerous reasons why people choose the collaborative divorce process over the standard divorce process. The main reasons are that it’s less combative, and the final agreement feels more organic and more of well, an actual agreement than a decree. A couple is able to save time, money, and maybe even some headaches if they are able to work as a member of the collaborative divorce process.
Paltrow and Martin will be filing “irreconcilable differences” as their reason for the end of their 11-year marriage.
“Irreconcilable differences” is often the cited reason for a divorce filing. Filing “irreconcilable differences” means there is no hope that the couple will be able to resolve the problems they have with each other to be able to save the marriage. Some states use the term ” irretrievable breakdown of the marriage” instead of “irreconcilable differences.” You will need to check with your state’s terminology and grounds for divorces as each state has different requirements regarding what can be cited as the reason. A divorce attorney will be able to advise you on your state’s specific laws regarding grounds for divorce.
California is a no-fault state. “No-fault” means just that – neither party is at fault for the end of the marriage. So neither spouse is able to be found “guilty” for committing any sort of extenuating act, such as adultery, abandonment, or extreme cruelty.
Co-parenting is a crucial part of your child’s life. You will not be able to raise a child successfully if you do not get a handle on this. No child wants to see their parents fighting, or feel as if they are being tugged between two sides of a war. If the parents of Apple and Moses have figured it out (Martin and Paltrow) then so can you!
You might need to consult a therapist or lawyer to get some groundwork laid for this new relationship. Bottom line: just try to be adults. You might have to dig deep to find that “adult” in there, and you might not want to, but you have to, for your child’s sake. Find an approach that will work for you (for the both of you) and then start from that point.
Kids Interests First
Putting your child’s best interests above your own are the only way to build a successful co-parenting situation while creating an amicable relationship with your ex. You two don’t need to be best friends that talk a million times a day. You just need to find a way to make this work, kind of like being assigned to a lab partner in high school that you just couldn’t stand. You had to work together to get through the assignment and to get the A+ grade that you wanted. If you could make that work in high school, you can make this relationship work as an adult.
This can be done in a number of ways:
- Work out a method of communication. This can be done through email or text. Being able to write it down helps to create a “paper trail” should there be disputes. But this is also a great way to just remove the emotions and stick to the fact.
- Remove the emotion during interaction – either in person or via communication
- Schedule it out. This means weekly routines as well as vacation and other important events.
- Be flexible
- Commit to being cooperative. This might be a stretch, but you will need to cooperate.
This is not always an easy process, but once you have these basic things under your belt, it will be easier.
A Family Law Attorney
But when it comes to the actual legal process of a divorce, you’ll want to work with a skilled family law attorney. There are a number of things that need to be considered during a divorce: child support, spousal support, marital property division, and other things. Working with a skilled attorney can help ensure you get a fair case. For advice on divorce, child custody determinations, setting up a co-parenting agreement, dividing marital property, and spousal support you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.
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